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William Of St. Amours De Periculis Novissimorum Temporum: A False Start To Medieval Antifraternalism?

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Chapter Summary

Although scholars continue to debate the nature of medieval antifraternalism, it has become increasingly difficult to draw a straight line between the acidic polemics of the mid-thirteenth century and later confrontations, whether literary, doctrinal, or physical, between mendicants and their various antagonists. This chapter contributes to this debate by arguing that what sets William of St. Amour apart from the vast majority of the friars' pre-Reformation critics, including the most avid among them, are the objectives of his disparagement rather than his rhetoric. The immediate context for the publication of De periculis novissimorum temporum is easily traced to the heated debates between mendicant theologians and their allies, on one hand, and the Parisian secular masters and their supporters, on the other, in the mid-thirteenth century. The chapter examines three forms of criticisms of medieval friars, as expressed in contemporary belles-lettres, theology, and more palpable social actions.

Keywords: De periculis novissimorum temporum; medieval antifraternalism; William of St. Amour



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