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Simha Goldin

The Jew who remained a Jew was obliged to define his attitude towards the Jew who converted to Christianity, and indeed this had to be done in many spheres. The halakhah had laid down in principle the decision that a Jew who converted to Christianity was still, despite everything, a brother and a Jew, but this decision was eroded over time. The Rabbinic authorities were being asked Halakhic questions such as: is a convert regarded as a dead person or not? What happens in the case of the wife of a convert who remains Jewish? Can a convert bequeath or inherit possessions? Is the wine he produces “the wine of non-Jews” (that Jews were forbidden to drink)? What is the law applying to those who converted to Christianity and later returned to Judaism? Can they be trusted? Do they have to undergo immersion, like converts to Judaism?

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Simha Goldin

This chapter looks at the struggle of the Jews in dealing with the Christian success in conquering the Land of Israel from the Muslims and establishing the Land of Israel , the land to which the Jews were theologically due to return, as a Christian kingdom. This Christian theological success created a crisis among the Jews that brought about the phenomenon of voluntary conversion to Christianity seen clearly, for example, in the autobiography of Yehuda Herman, a Jewish apostate, and at the same time a Jewish polemic reaction directed against Christians and against Jewish converts to Christianity.

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Alison Forrestal

This chapter examines the episcopal and Catholic renewal traditions in France during the sixteenth century. By the turn of the sixteenth century, French prelates had a variety of sources on which to base their understanding of the episcopal office. Those guides most immediately to hand, the Council of Trent and the examples of contemporary reforming prelates appeared particularly attractive, for they enabled the minority of French bishops who were attempting to introduce reforms in insecure conditions to lay the foundations for permanent ecclesiastical order. The chapter suggests that this French tradition provided strongly articulated views on episcopal jurisdictional rights and authority as well as, secondarily, on episcopal spirituality.

in Fathers, pastors and kings
Open Access (free)
Alison Forrestal

This chapter sums up the key findings of this study on the history of episcopacy in France during the seventeenth century. The episcopate flourished, after its unsteady start to the Bourbon reign, because it was able to use the debate on episcopal jurisdiction to construct referential principles that stacked into a mature and conscious ideology of episcopal identity which defined its status and behaviour within church and society. Its adoption of a comprehensive ideology of episcopacy had its effect not just on bishops themselves, but also on the lower clergy, the papacy and the crown. For this reason, it can be said that the seventeenth century was a formative period not just for the character of the episcopate itself, but for that of the French church in general.

in Fathers, pastors and kings
Elizabeth Vandiver and Ralph Keen

This chapter enumerates the life and works of Dr Martin Luther, from the perspective of his lifelong antagonist Johannes Cochlaeus. It notes some peculiarities during his stay with the Monastery of the brothers of St Augustine, either from some secret commerce with a Demon, or from the disease of epilepsy; fraud after he was made Doctor in Theology; controversies in indulgences; and attacks he raised against the doctrine of the Roman church. It suggests that by his cunning, as he complained that he was unjustly pressed by his adversaries and driven into public, Luther gained the greatest favor for himself, not just among the simple people, but also among many grave, learned men, who believed in his words through genuine simplicity. Meanwhile, Cochlaeus, for the sake of asserting and confirming the truth of the Catholic faith against any heretics, also published several books in Latin, criticizing Luther and Phillip Melanchthon.

in Luther’s lives
Alison Forrestal

This chapter examines the dispute among the bishops, the lower clergy and the papacy concerning episcopal authority in France during the seventeenth century. It suggests that the dispute represented three competing conceptions of the church, and crystallised opposing views of ecclesiastical government, discipline and hierarchy at local, national and international levels. The chapter also explores how collusion between Rome and the regulars pushed the bishops towards a fiercely protective doctrine of episcopal gallicanism that was finally cemented in the 1682 Gallican Articles.

in Fathers, pastors and kings
Visions of episcopacy in seventeenth-century France

This book explores how conceptions of episcopacy (government of a church by bishops) shaped the identity of the bishops of France in the wake of the reforming Council of Trent (1545–63). It demonstrates how the episcopate, initially demoralised by the Wars of Religion, developed a powerful ideology of privilege, leadership and pastorate that enabled it to become a flourishing participant in the religious, political and social life of the ancien regime. The book analyses the attitudes of Tridentine bishops towards their office by considering the French episcopate as a recognisable caste, possessing a variety of theological and political principles that allowed it to dominate the French church.

Open Access (free)
Elizabeth Vandiver, Ralph Keen, and Thomas D. Frazel

There are only two substantial eyewitness accounts of the life of Martin Luther. Best known is a 9,000-word Latin memoir by Philip Melanchthon published in Latin at Heidelberg in 1548, two years after the Reformer's death. But the other substantial vita of Luther—at 175,000 words by far the longest and most detailed eyewitness account of the Reformer—has never been published in English. Recorded contemporaneously over the first twenty-five years of the Reformation by Luther's lifelong antagonist Johannes Cochlaeus, the Commentaria de Actis et Scriptis Martini Lutheri was published in Latin at Mainz in 1549. This chapter introduces this confrontation between Melanchthon's vita and Cochlaeus's Commentary read against each other, the rival texts rekindle the colossal crossfire of faith-against-faith that animated and illuminated the Reformation.

in Luther’s lives
Open Access (free)
Alison Forrestal

This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this book, which is about the history of episcopacy in France during the seventeenth century. The book examines the ideas, both established and still emerging, of what the office of bishop meant to its incumbents and traces the ways in which that understanding coloured their involvement in the hierarchical Tridentine church and in a temporal realm governed by a vigorously gallican monarchy. It also explores the canonical and theological aspects that relate to the episcopate as a sacred ecclesiastical position with particular associated powers, the character of the episcopal pastorate and the notion of episcopal spirituality.

in Fathers, pastors and kings
Open Access (free)
An introduction to his life and work
Ralph Keen

Johannes Cochlaeus stands among the prominent members of the Catholic reaction to the Reformation during its first three decades. His work serves as valuable evidence for scholars of the division of western Christianity that took place in the sixteenth century. Two qualities give him a special place among the early Catholic respondents to Protestantism: the volume of his work and the rhetorical ferocity of his reaction to the beginnings of Protestantism. He was the most prolific and most acerbic of the Catholic polemicists, and both of these qualities in tandem give him a historical importance that is only now being recognized. This chapter offers the reader of the Commentary an introduction to the main events of Cochlaeus's career and an assessment of his treatment of Luther.

in Luther’s lives