Alan of Lille's Academic Concept of the Manichee

Authors

  • HILBERT CHIU

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Sydney, Australia
      Hilbert Chiu is an Associate Member of the Medieval and Early Modern Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia.
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  • My thanks to John O. Ward and John Scott for their numerous comments and our many discussions of this topic in our joint project of translating Alan of Lille's De fide catholica for publication. The errors in this article are entirely my own.

Hilbert Chiu is an Associate Member of the Medieval and Early Modern Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

Academic texts of the twelfth century are regularly used by historians of medieval heresy for snippets of evidence on the “religion” of so-called heretical movements like the “Cathars.” The difficulties of using such evidence in this way are apparent when reading these academic texts in full, and considering them in their context: the theological disputations of the first universities. I will elsewhere write more about how developments in theology during the twelfth century affected the way the intellectual leaders of the church understood popular religion; and how the idea of there being heretical movements and the idea of removing them by inquisition both had the same origins. In this article I introduce some of these ideas by looking closely at only one part of one such academic text: Book One of the De fide catholica, of Alan of Lille.

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