Heresy and the English Reformation

Bogomil-Cathar Influence on Wycliffe, Langland, Tyndale and Milton

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About the Book

Medieval Europe was a hotbed of revolt against religious dogma. Particularly offensive to the established church were the views of the Cathars, whose dualist beliefs Rome condemned as heretical.
Through a variety of literary works, this book explores the dualist religious movement which developed as a culture of the masses and took place in Europe between the 12th and 17th centuries. It examines the strong parallels between the Bogomils and Cathars and the religious practices of the British Lollards, extrapolating Lollardy’s spread from eastern to western Europe. Providing numerous text comparisons, the work focuses on a number of authors including John Wycliffe, William Tynsdale, William Langland and John Milton, whose works exhibit the dualist philosophy.

About the Author(s)

Georgi Vasilev is a senior research fellow and chief expert at the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad. He lives in Bulgaria.

Bibliographic Details

Georgi Vasilev
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3005-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8667-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction: The Dualist Heresy—Bridging the Island to the Continent During the Middle Ages

European Genesis      7

The Dualist Pre-Renaissance      9

1. BOGOMILS AND LOLLARDS

Penetration into England      13

Text Comparison      17

Cultural Activity of the Bulgarian and English Dualists      26

Appendix to Chapter 1: Cathars and Waldenses      30

2. TRACES OF THE BOGOMIL MOVEMENT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

The Linguistic History of the Word “Bugger”      32

Hidden Identity      36

Appendix to Chapter 2: The Good Name of Bogomils and Cathars      40

3. THE HERESY AND WOMEN

Women’s Emancipation and the Bogomils      43

Women in Catharo-Provençal Civilization      46

Lollard Women: Outstanding Personalities      50

Appendix to Chapter 3: The Right of Women to Ordain and to Shrive      54

4. JOHN WYCLIFFE AND THE DUALISTS

Our Bread Over Another Substance      57

Dualistic Arguments in Wycliffe      60

The Specific New Testament Vocabulary of Wycliffite Translations      70

From haeresia Bulgarorum to exemplum Bulgaricum      74

Appendix to Chapter 4: Anglicization in the Wycliffe and King James Bibles      79

5. DUALIST IDEAS IN THE WORKS OF TYNDALE

Tyndale—The Covert Dualist      81

The Reformation Potential of Dualism      86

Dualist Influence in the Two English Translations of the Scriptures      6

Appendix to Chapter 5: Updating the Evaluation of Tyndale      101

6. BOGOMIL-CATHAR IMAGERY AND THEOLOGY IN THE VISION OF PIERS PLOWMAN

The Fall of Lucifer      103

Christ Descends into Hell and Sets All Souls Free      105

The Bulgarian Image of Christ the Ploughman and Piers Plowman      109

Appendix to Chapter 6: Delivering the Souls . . . . . . . . . . .      116

7. THE SPIRITUAL KINSHIP BETWEEN PARADISE LOST AND THE SECRET BOOK OF THE BOGOMILS

Speculation and Miltonian Self-Identification      119

Doctrinal Expressions      123

Bogomil Imagery in the Works of Milton      134

17th Century Waldensian Translocations      147

Conclusion      150

Chapter Notes      161

Bibliography      183

Index      199

Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating”—Midwest Book Review; “a stimulating read”—Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies.