Heretic Lives. Medieval Heresy from Bogomil and the Cathars to Wyclif and Hus

Frassetto M.

Among the most intricate mysteries of medieval Europe are the lives of the great heretics and their beliefs and practices that rejected the teachings of the established Church. Through the courageous tales of these men and women and the violent religious intolerance they encountered, Michael Frassetto enters the dark history of the great medieval heretical movements-ideas and actions that had, by the end of the Middle Ages, utterly transformed the religious, cultural, and political map of Europe. The Great Medieval Heretics explores five centuries of social and spiritual turmoil through a vivid and telling mix of events, ideas, and personalities, including Bogomil, an obscure tenth-century priest from the Balkan countryside who introduced heretical ideas to his parishioners; Stephen and Lisois, the French courtier priests accused of devil worship, whose intimacy with their king and queen failed to keep them from the stake; Henry the Monk, who eluded his captors and prepared the Languedoc in southern France for the Cathar heresy; Valdes, the rich merchant from Lyons, who renounced worldly goods to found the movement that would evolve into the Waldensian church; Pierre Autier, one of the last Cathar missionaries; Fra Dolcino, whose brigand followers terrorized northern Italy; the great mystic Marguerite Porete, who was publicly burned in Paris; the Beguines, pious laywomen who lived in self-sufficient communities in various parts of Europe; and the heralds of the Protestant Reformation, the Oxford scholar John Wyclif and the Czech priest Jan Hus. The Great Medieval Heretics is a riveting chronicle of the search for spiritual truth and purity, and a testimony to the power of faithin the face of suffering and persecution. From first to last this is history replete with passion, terror, and hope, and a key to the heart of medieval Europe.