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ENGL 539 01 (20998) /MDVL552
Literature and Theology in English, 1360–1410
Denys Turner
Alastair Minnis
Th 1.30-3.20 LC 318
Spring 2013 
 
There was an extraordinary flowering of religious writing in English during the period extending roughly from 1360, the approximate date of the first version of Piers Plowman, to 1410, the year in which Nicholas Love submitted his Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ to Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, for his approval, in the context of new restrictions placed on vernacular writings as a response to the Lollard or "Wycliffite" heresy. This course considers some of that writing's major theological achievements, concentrating on selections from Piers Plowman and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales together with Pearl, The Cloud of Unknowing, and Julian of Norwich's Revelations. The consequences of Lollardy are investigated in a class on Walter Brut, a Welsh Lollard tried in 1391–3 (and eulogized in John Foxe's Book of Martyrs), and the course ends with Love's Mirror, often cited as the model of orthodox meditative practice.