Against the Friars (Paperback)
Antifraternalism in Medieval France and England
McFarland & Company, 9780786468317, 249pp.
Publication Date: September 10, 2014
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The friars represented a remarkable innovation in medieval religious life. Founded in the early 13th century, the Franciscans and Dominicans seemed a perfect solution to the Church's troubles in confronting rapid changes in society. They attracted enthusiastic support, especially from the papacy, to which they answered directly. In their first 200 years, membership grew at an astonishing rate, and they became counsellors to princes and kings, receiving an endless stream of donations and gifts. Yet there were those who believed the adulation was misguided or even dangerous, and who saw in the friars' actions only hypocrisy, deceit, greed and even signs of the end of the world. From the mid-13th century, writings appeared denouncing and mocking the friars and calling for their abolition. Their French and English opponents were among the most vocal. From harsh theological criticism and outrage at the Inquisition to vulgar tales and bathroom humor, this thoroughly documented work is suitable for the newcomer, as well as for readers who are familiar with the subject but might like to investigate specific topics in more detail.
About the Author
Tim Rayborn is a historian, medievalist, and musician, with a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds in England. He is a writer on a variety of topics in history and the arts, and lives in Berkeley, California.