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Effects Of The Spiritual Franciscan Controversy On The Mendicant Ideal

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Chapter Summary

The case of Walter Hilton's religious and literary identity is illustrative of the subtleties and discontinuities in literary trends that emerge from the study of the mendicant relationship to literature subtleties and discontinuities observed by Smalley. Educated at Cambridge, Hilton, like many of his contemporaries, sensed a calling to religious life. The nature of Hilton's work points to medieval literary life that is crucial to an understanding of the work of fictional writers such as William Langland and Geoffrey Chaucer—namely, a free handed mixing of imaginative and non-fictional genres that is now much less common. Penn R. Szittya's assessment of the antifraternal arguments that circulated before and during the composition of the three versions of Piers Plowman is well-founded and it is an invaluable guide through the intricate history of antifraternal polemics as they made their way from politico theological tracts into imaginative literature.

Keywords:Geoffrey Chaucer; mendicant orders; Penn R. Szittya; Piers Plowman; Walter Hilton; William Langland

10.1163/ej.9789004181809.i-382.40
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