The Waldensian Dissent: Persecution and Survival, C.1170-c.1570

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Cambridge University Press, 1999 - History - 234 pages
The Poor of Lyons, whom their detractors called 'Waldensians' - after the name of their founder Waldo (or Vaudès) - first emerged around 1170 and formed in common with other groups of the period a sect which embraced evangelism, prophecy and poverty. By challenging their prohibition by the lay clergy, and by following the Scripture to the last letter, they suffered excommunication and were condemned as heretics. Forced underground and dispersed widely, they nevertheless managed to maintain contact across Europe, through an established network of itinerant preachers, in Provence and Dauphiné, Calabria and Piedmont, Austria and Bohemia, Pomerania, Brandenburg, Silesia and beyond. The Poor of Lyons constituted the only medieval heresy to have survived to the dawn of the so-called 'modern' period. Their tale of simple devotion mixed with a fierce tenacity serves to illuminate aspects of religious belief that have persisted to the present day. This book was first published in 1999.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
11701215 decisive and purposive origins
6
The thirteenth century the need to adapt
26
The fourteenth century the challenge of believing differently
40
The fifteenth century the risks of longevity
60
The constraints of a life in hiding
87
The need to organise
110
A culture of their own the written and the spoken word
143
The sixteenth century the end as a way forward?
161
Epilogue the Waldensian Church
189
Conclusion
215
Bibliography
225
Index
229
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