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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

3 - Currents of Religious Thought and Expression

from Part I - General Themes
Summary
The main determinant of religious thought in the fourteenth century, which would eventually affect every aspect of public worship and private prayer, was the concentrated effort to marshal, state logically and resolve questions according to an agreed theological language, establishing thereby a coherent method of religious education. Less dramatic but of equal import for the religion of the laity was the slow advance of theological education among the European clergy. Innumerable sermons survive from the fourteenth century: their form, originally an academic exposition of a biblical text, was constantly modified to conform to unlearned ears, and their content popularised with anecdotes with simple morals. In the republic of academic theology, the solutions of Scotus were modified and developed by numerous independent thinkers; 'Scotism' never achieved more than a modest degree of coherence as a body of doctrine. The idea of a journey of the soul towards God had been elaborated by Richard of St Victor.
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The New Cambridge Medieval History
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055741
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900
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