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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

'Heresies and Rhetorics; 'Handbooks of Heresy' in the Middle Ages'

27th January 2015, 17:30, Learning Centre, Palace Green Library, Professor John Arnold, University of London

followed by a drinks reception at the Cafe, Palace Green Library.

This event is part of the IMEMS Limits of the Human seminar series for 2014/15. Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To book click here

Abstract: From the early centuries of the church to the Reformation period (and indeed thereafter), orthodox writers produced 'handbooks of heresy', works which explained and denounced different heresies and heretical sects. These form a kind of genre of polemic, and in some ways are markedly uniform in their approach. However, as this paper will explore (by focussing particularly on a thirteenth-century example) there can be variety and complexity hidden beneath this rhetorical surface; and that can itself complicate how we think about the middle ages as a 'persecuting society'.

John H Arnold is professor of medieval history at Birkbeck, University of London, having previously worked at UEA (Norwich) and studied at the University of York. He is author of various works on medieval religion and culture, including Inquisition and Power (2001) and Belief and Unbelief in the Middle Ages (2005), and has most recently edited the Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity (2014). He has published also on the practice of history, on gender history, and (with Andy Wood) on history and science-fiction.

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