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Si Sind All Glichsner: Antifraternalism In Medieval And Renaissance German Literature

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Chapter Summary

While antifraternalism and criticism of the friars in medieval English and French literature have been studied extensively, the same cannot be said for the treatment of them in the literature of medieval Germany. This chapter seeks to fill this lacuna in research into medieval literature with an overview of antifraternal themes in German literature from the time of the friars' arrival in the German-speaking lands until the appearance of The Devil's Net and Sebastian Brant's Ship of Fools in the fifteenth century and the polemics of Renaissance humanists and Protestant Reformers in the early sixteenth. It notes where antifraternal themes appear and where they do not appear, and it suggests possible social and political reasons for the apparent idiosyncracies of the German antifraternal tradition. The chapter is intended, then, as an introduction to detailed research into antifraternal themes in medieval German literature and into the possible roots of Reformation antifraternalism.

Keywords: antifraternalism; medieval German literature; Renaissance



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