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Penitential Theology And Law At The Turn Of The Fifteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates on England during and immediately following the time of Geoffrey Chaucer. It is well known that Chaucer himself dealt extensively with the sacrament of penance in his Parson's Tale. The chapter focuses on the works of John Burgh and William Lyndwood and concludes with a brief review of their connection to Chaucer's works. Both men were writing for an English audience, but they were abreast of the latest Continental commentators. For an understanding of their ideas of penance, it will be useful first to review the authorities upon which they drew. The chapter then looks at a sequence of important works from the mid-12th century and early 13th century that treated penance and confession and that acquired significant glosses.

Keywords: fifteenth century; Geoffrey Chaucer; John Burgh; penitential theology; William Lyndwood



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