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Non Mundi Sapiencibus, sed Rudibus et Indoctis: hierarchies of knowledge and access in Richard Rolle’s Incendium Amoris

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Title: Non Mundi Sapiencibus, sed Rudibus et Indoctis: hierarchies of knowledge and access in Richard Rolle’s Incendium Amoris
Author: Foroughi, Louisa Zhaleh
Type: Thesis
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: In late medieval England, unmediated access to God was concentrated primarily in the hands of priests and clerics. Churchmen provided the lay public with mediated access to holy rituals, objects, and texts, but the clerically educated retained the skills and qualifications necessary to achieve institutionally sanctioned access to the divine. Thus, the hierarchy of doctus : indoctus (taught/learned : untaught/unlearned) was closely tied to the clerici : laici (clergy : lay) binary. Although these hierarchies were deeply imbedded in social structures, from the twelfth century onward trends in business, education, and lay piety allowed for greater flexibility in access to both texts and holiness. This thesis examines how the theological frameworks espoused by one fourteenth century English mystic, Richard Rolle (c. 1300-1349), provided a broader audience of pious Christians with opportunities for direct access to both the divine and privileged knowledge. In the first half of this paper, I examine relevant aspects of the historical context, highlighting trends in education and piety that relate to hierarchies of knowledge and holiness. In the second half, I read select passages from Rolle’s Incendium Amoris (c. 1330-1340) closely and with reference to the historical background. These readings show that Rolle promoted hierarchies of holiness and knowledge that depended on skills not governed by institutionally regulated structures of sanctity or education, and thus allowed a broader range of individuals to aspire to sanctity and learnedness.
Subject: Knowledge in literature
Subject: Religious literature, English
Subject: Rolle, Richard, of Hampole, 1290?-1349. Incendium Amoris
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/7077

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Citation

Foroughi, Louisa Zhaleh. "Non Mundi Sapiencibus, sed Rudibus et Indoctis: hierarchies of knowledge and access in Richard Rolle’s Incendium Amoris". 2011. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/7077.

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