Heresy & inquisition in France is an invaluable collection of primary sources in translation. It provides students and specialists alike with direct access to a wide array of materials on heresy and the persecution of heresy in medieval France, for a key period in their development.
The book contains eight different sections, each one devoted to a particular genre of material, from texts created by heretics themselves to chronicle extracts to learned treatises, papal letters and sermon tales, and a substantial number of documents related to the establishment and running of inquisitions into heretical wickedness. The final and largest section presents a very considerable amount of material translated from registers of inquisition trials.
Almost all the sources here are translated for the first time, a considerable number from manuscript records. Each is introduced fully, with reference to helpful modern commentary on authors, genres and specific people and issues. The editors have sought to translate full documents wherever possible, and to give in all cases a sense of the whole text from which an extract is taken.
The ‘heretics’ found in these materials are predominantly in the south of France, those known to modern scholarship as Cathars, but the book also presents important material on heresy and inquisitorial activity in the north of France, in Provence and on Waldensians. The study of heresy and inquisition has always aroused considerable scholarly debate – with this book, students and scholars can form their own interpretation of various key issues, drawing upon a wide variety of texts produced in the period.
The collection will appeal to students and lecturers in medieval history and religious studies, as well as the wider academic community.
John H. Arnold is Professor of Medieval History at Birkbeck, University of London
Pete Biller is Professor of Medieval History at the University of York
The book is available to purchase direct from Manchester University Press.