Winter 1984, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 307-321.

Samuel E. Torvend:
      The Bible and Lay Spirituality in the Middle Ages

In the High Middle Ages, lay spirituality, expressed in devotion to poverty and to preaching, was nourished by the word of the Bible presented orally and visually.

Brother Torvend, OR, is currently engaged in doctoral studies in historical theology at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, and is editor of U.S. Dominican.

IN the history of Christian spirituality, Jesus' call to live as a poor one of the Kingdom has awakened in countless numbers of men and women the desire to pursue a life of poverty and itinerant preaching. As early as the second century, we find Jewish Christians in eastern Syria and Mesopotamia living as wandering preachers who were poor, itinerant ascetics imitating the Son of Man who had "no place to lay his head."(1)

Centuries later, monastic reform in the West returned to the New Testament description of the apostolic community in Jerusalem as a source of its renewal, albeit a renewal which placed particular emphasis on the inner life, the vita, of the first Christian community.(2) Again, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the emergence of lay movements and the new orders of Friars Preachers and Friars Minor marked a renewed interest in the Gospel texts on poverty and preaching. Dominic and Francis, inspired by the Lucan description of the sending of the disciples (10:1-12; cf. Matt. 9:37-38; 10:7-16), interpreted and used this passage as a program of life for their followers: Francis emphasized the witness of apostolic poverty while Dominic promoted the task of apostolic preaching.(3)

However, the ideal of leading a simple life inspired by the regula Christi, the rule of Christ, was not confined to members of religious communities. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, numerous movements among the laity sought to imitate, in a quite literal fashion, the exhortation to sell one's goods, give to the poor, and embark on a life of itinerant preaching. For a variety of reasons, each of these groups came into conflict with the authority of the church, conflicts sparked by open resentment and criticism of secular priests and bishops, doubts concerning certain practices of the church, and the presence, in some groups, of dualistic tendencies.

But at the center of these rollicking disputes, we find a common source of debate: the desire of lay movements to read, study, interpret, and preach the Scriptures for their own edification and that of anyone who would listen to them. Though some movements found themselves, by their own choice, outside the institutional church, other groups lived in a more symbiotic relationship marked by dissent and reconciliation. Among these groups, the Waldensians, or the Poor of Lyons as they were called by their contemporaries, constituted one major force which promoted the use and interpretation of Scripture by the laity.


Valdes, a wealthy merchant, lived in the city of Lyons, a commercial center whose economy was built on cloth making, trade, and tourist hospitality. The city itself was under the political control of the local archbishop, who shared his power with the cathedral canons, an immensely wealthy corporation whose priests were drawn from the affluent feudal nobility. Valdes, not being a member of the aristocracy but a prominent figure in the emerging merchant class, bought and sold cloth, invested his profits in the growing industrial sector of the city, and owned mills, bakeries, and vineyards from which he drew a regular income. He was, we would say, a member of the nouveaux riches.(4)

The Chronicon Laudunensis describes a religious conversion which Valdes experienced during the mid-1170s. The Chronicon states that Valdes, upon hearing a minstrel sing the legend of St. Alexis (a wealthy Roman who abandoned family and fortune to live a life of Christian poverty), went to a master of theology in Lyons in order to discuss the best way to achieve salvation. During this conversation the master cited Jesus' saying on poverty and discipleship recorded in Matt. 19:21. In reflecting on this text, Valdes chose to follow literally the advice: he returned home, offered his wife the option of keeping their movable goods or their domestic property, of which she took the latter, and, through the income gained from selling the goods, placed his two daughters under the care of the nuns at Fontevrault.(5)

Having provided for his wife and children, Valdes began two projects inspired by Matt. 19:21 and Acts 2:42. First, he purchased food with the income gained from the sale of his commercial property and distributed it to the growing number of poor who were suffering the consequences of a severe famine which had struck the region in 1176. Sensitive to the reproach of his neighbors and friends who must have looked with amusement or disdain upon his new life-style, Valdes responded by saying: "I am not really insane, as you think, but I have gained revenge over my enemies who made me their slave, in such a way that I was always more concerned about money than God, and I was serving the creature more than the Creator."(6)

Wishing to understand the Gospels which were read in Latin at Mass, Valdes launched his second project by commissioning two priests to translate into the vernacular the four Gospels and selected writings of the Fathers.(7) In 1190, Durand of Huesca, a reform leader among the Waldensians, would refer to this translation project as the source of Waldensian poverty and preaching: "Our faith and our works are justified by the Gospels. If you ask why we are poor, we say it is because we have read that our Savior and his Apostles were poor."(8)

With the Gospels translated, Valdes began a thorough study of Scripture, often committing whole passages to memory, a practice actively promoted in the movement. At the same time, he began preaching in Lyons and the surrounding area. Gradually, men and women from all social levels gathered around him in order to live together in simplicity of life as preachers of the word of God.(9)

By living a life of utter simplicity "without care for the morrow," the Poor of Lyons promoted a life-style not unlike that of other religious communities in medieval Christianity. They, too, were caught in the enthusiasm for the vita apostolica, the life of the apostles. This vita, inspired by the biblical narrative describing the life and witness of the first Christians, promoted a restoration, a return to the origins of Christian history. But at the same time, the desire to restore the church to its pristine character was consciously used, by religious and lay groups alike, as a way of disengaging the church from the forms of temporal feudal society. It is not surprising, then, that the greatest support for such movements came from those persons who lived on the fringe of feudal culture: the emerging merchant class which was not bound to feudal agrarian life, and the growing number of itinerant preachers who were not supported by a system of ecclesiastical benefices.(10)

In their early years, the Poor of Lyons were simply an informal society of preachers. But as they grew throughout western Europe, they developed into an ecclesiastical organization governed by a small group of preachers known as the perfecti. One was admitted to this ruling elite, after a period of probation and instruction, through the imposition of hands, a practice inspired in Waldensian eyes by Acts 6:1-6, but certainly in imitation of the Roman rite of ordination to the priesthood. In addition, these preachers, both male and female, were vowed to a life of poverty and chastity, and supported financially by a cadre of followers called the credentes, believers. This second and larger group of Waldensians were adherents to the faith preached and taught by the perfecti; they accepted baptism from them and heard their instruction in Scripture, but lived in the world and were free to marry and own property.(11) In 1179, Walter Map described the life of the perfecti in words reminiscent of Luke 10:

They have no fixed habitations. They go about two by two, barefoot, clad in woolen garments, owning nothing, holding all things in common, like the apostles, naked, following a naked Christ. They are making the first moves now in the humblest manner because they cannot launch an attack. If we admit them [to the church as a religious community], we shall be driven out. (12)

It may be difficult to imagine the great attraction for so many medievals to a life so insecure, especially when one considers that American Christianity is, for the most part, a movement of men and women from the middle class who are generally well educated and devoted to the maintenance of various and innumerable institutions. Yet for the medievals who experienced great spiritual hungers in an age bursting with new discoveries and new ways of living, the conjunction of "holy poverty' with freedom from the feudal strictures came to express for them the necessary institutional condition of the kingdom of God in the world, a condition which was perceived by many members of the nobility and clergy as a disruptive force in feudal Christianity.(13)

Not only was [the church] the spiritual head of Christendom, she had become also a quasi-political organization, wealthy, powerful, and outwardly united. So complete had her prelates identified themselves with affairs of state that the government of the civilized world, if not in their hands, was to all intents and purposes under their guidance. (14)
In light of the popular perception of the church as a bureaucracy, a judicial body, and an institution aligned with feudal aristocracy, it is not surprising that a great desire for a simple form of religion developed in the medieval soul, a simplicity of spirit which manifested itself in a corresponding respect for poverty as the foundation of Christian virtue and sanctity.


Poverty, however, was not merely honored among the Poor of Lyons; it soon constituted their claim to be the true successors of the apostles. Bernard Gui, Dominican inquisitor and bishop, described the method by which they justified this opinion:

First, they say what the disciples of Christ should be like, according to the words of the Gospel and the apostles. Only those, they say, should be successors of the apostles who imitate and hold their example of life. On this basis, they conclude that the pope, the bishops and prelates, and clergy, who possess the riches of the world and do not imitate the sanctity of the apostles, are not true pastors and guides of the Church of God.(15)
Implicitly, the Waldensians advocated the belief that the only authentic religious experience one could have would be among the poor, the halt, and the lame. This was a position which promoted the subtle notion that God was indeed speaking to the present age through the Bible, but that his words were heard only by poor people, virtuous priests, and itinerant preachers. Thus "holy poverty" emerged as a form of verification, a litmus test, for "holy ministry" in the church. As the Waldensians suggested, if one possessed riches, one could not possess the apostolic ministry. When pressed to the limit, however, this belief tended to promote a dualistic tendency which eventually drove some groups (such as the Cathari) to reject learning, despise the created world, and deprecate the visible ministry and sacraments of the church.(16)

Intimately bound to the ideal of poverty was the practice of itinerant preaching. This task was so central to the evangelical awakening of the High Middle Ages that it replaced personal holiness as the greatest goal on many medieval "ladders of spiritual perfection." Why this insistence on preaching? Historians of the period offer a variety of causes, but two of them should be highlighted.

First, the state of preaching at the time was less than adequate. In his defense of the church against those lay movements which attacked the clergy, Archbishop Bernard Gaucelin wrote to his priests in order to

instruct or encourage some of the clergy, who, either because they are burdened by inexperience or for want of books, become an offense and a scandal to the faithful under their charge by their failure to stand against the enemies of truth; for they neither confirm the faithful in the Catholic faith nor refresh them with the nourishment of the Holy Scriptures wherefore they languish like starvelings on the journey through this world.(17)

But second, the Poor Men argued that they were instructed to preach by Christ himself: "In apostolic days, they argued, all could preach freely. By what right then could they be forbidden to do so now? Laymen had preached before and their efforts had been blessed; the Apostles were not learned doctors nor saints, yet Christ entrusted to them the spread of his Gospel."(18) Convinced that they were obeying a divine command, Waldensian preachers were fond of saying, "it is better to serve God than man." They justified their ministry by circumventing the visible authority of the church and appealing to their status as successors of the apostles who were commanded by God, speaking through the Scriptures, to preach everywhere with or without ecclesiastical approval: "Whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice" (Phil. 1:18).

In what form, then, did this preaching develop? In its origin, Waldensian preaching was nothing more than the public, devotional recitation of passages of the Bible, mainly selections from the New Testament, especially the synoptic Gospels. Gradually this public recitation evolved into personal testimony concerning the faith, a medium suitable to a movement which emphasized the existential and fiducial character of belief but one also necessary for a group numbering many uneducated members. Finally, the Waldensians utilized the form of a full-fashioned sermon in which they treated doctrinal and sacramental matters, topics which brought them into conflict with the church.(19) As Bernard Gui reported: "They preach on the Gospels and the Epistles and other sacred writings, which these masters of error, who do not know how to be disciples of truth, distort by their interpretation."(20)


Quite often popular assumptions about the Middle Ages lead many people to assume that the Bible was a buried treasure in medieval Christianity waiting to be discovered by the Protestant Reformation; that if it was utilized at all, one would have found it only within the monastic enclosure. If we ourselves assume that the printed text is the only form by which the Bible can be transmitted most effectively, then we would concur with this common perception of Scripture in medieval life. However, studies in a variety of disciplines contend that the Scriptures were neither silent in the public realm nor interpreted solely by professional scholars. As Jean LeClercq notes:

Scenes from the Bible were represented everywhere: on doors, in frescoes, in sculptured capitals and tympana, in stained-glass windows and furnishings. Culture and the life of the Church were drawn into unity in and through the Bible. The Bible was the basic book of medieval culture, and medieval culture was essentially a biblical culture.(21)
Such a statement comes as a surprise to most Protestants and Catholics. If we recognize, however, that the Bible was a part of the very air breathed by the medieval spirit, we may begin to understand that its transmission was not limited to the printed page alone: liturgical drama, secular songs and chants, popular customs and religious feasts, art and architecture served as mirrors of the Bible and as the "multi-media" form through which the populace of western Europe had access to its message.

Nevertheless, we must recognize the paucity of official encouragement from the clergy for Bible-reading among the laity, even among those numerous persons who could read vernacular, if not Latin, texts. By and large, the universal experience of Scripture was oral and visual: people witnessed biblical events in liturgical drama, saw them carved and painted on buildings, or heard them sung in popular and religious songs. Nevertheless, as lay movements developed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the demand grew for a printed text of the Bible in vernacular translation. Bernard Gui reported that the Poor of Lyons "ordinarily have the Gospels and the Epistles in the vulgar tongue, and also in Latin, since some of them understand it. Some also know how to read and sometimes they read from a book those things which they say and preach."(22)

As early as the Third Lateran Council in 1179, Valdes and his followers possessed a vernacular translation and gloss of the Psalms and a translation of several books of the Bible which they presented to Pope Alexander III. Gradually Waldensian translations entered Lombardy and Flanders with traveling weavers and merchants where they served as the source of Italian and Flemish translations of the Scriptures.(23) In addition to the Scriptures, the Waldensians used a vernacular translation of Gregory the Great's Moralia on job, excerpts from patristic literature which they called Sentences, and a book entitled The Thirty Steps of St. Augustine, a tract used to teach the virtues in daily living.(24)

We know from the correspondence between the bishop of Metz and Pope Innocent III in 1199 that large numbers of men and women in the diocese were using the vernacular translation of Scripture and holding meetings at which they would call "the clergy ignorant while saying that the books of the Bible teach better."(25) The bishop of Metz, asking for papal guidance concerning this practice, received a letter dated 12 July 1199 from Innocent in which the pope did not explicitly condemn translations or verbal comment on Scripture by the laity but, instead, warned against any uncritical hostility toward vernacular texts and suggested that the desire to know Scripture was not, in itself, wrong, but should be cautiously encouraged, as long as lay men and women did not assume the right to preach through an invisible commission from God not approved by the church.(26)

In 1201, Innocent clearly defined the manner of preaching in the church: doctrinal preaching (articuli fidei) was the privilege of the bishops and clergy of the church, whereas exhortation in the faith (verbum exhortationis) was allowed to the laity. Far from condemning the use of the Bible by laity faithful to the church, Innocent cautiously promoted its use by lay preachers who would work for the church in winning back those persons who had entered the blatantly heretical sect of the Albigensians.(27)


Piously reciting a passage from the Bible in the privacy of one's home was an activity which alarmed few members of the medieval clergy. But interpreting the same text in public preaching was a completely different matter, one which unnerved numerous bishops. This was especially true in the case of the Cathari, a large heretical sect with whom the Poor of Lyons have been identified incorrectly at times. By the end of the twelfth century, the Cathari had established an antichurch in southern France so vigorous in preaching and proselytizing that many clergy, alarmed by the sect's teachings, petitioned Rome for missionaries to bring a halt to the Cathari advances.

Unlike the Waldensians, the Cathari promoted a doctrine of creation which suggested that the world of matter was created by an evil principle, a being often identified with the God of the Old Testament. In this world of matter, repugnant and inferior to the world of the spirit created by a Father-God, human souls were trapped in prisons of the flesh. The Father-God, wishing to save these souls, provided salvation through Christ, a spirit himself, who entered the visible world in the illusion of human flesh. The purpose of this spirit-Christ's teaching was the final release of the soul from its bodily prison, a release effected through a process of purification begun in "spirit-baptism" (naturally without water), nurtured through rejection of the visible world (for example, the visible church, the human nature of Christ, the sacraments), and ultimately guaranteed by a life of rigorous asceticism.(28)

Naturally, such absolute dualists rejected the Old Testament as part of the biblical canon because it recounted, in their estimation, the activity of the demi-god, the creator of material evil. Even John the Baptist (a man hardly enamored of material comfort!) was considered an agent of the Evil One. Thus the Cathari utilized a relatively small number of texts in preaching. Consequently, their doctrinal position (a rejection of the visible, material world as a locus of divine revelation or activity) colored their biblical interpretation. In order to guard themselves from the "impurity" of this world, they ignored or rejected those biblical passages which described the goodness of creation, the humanity of Christ, the visible nature of the church. In turn, they exalted the "spiritual" world and those scriptural texts which seemed to foster an "otherworldly" existence as the true place of divine activity.

Though the Waldensians did not maintain such glaring dualisms, they also employed a highly selective interpretation of Scripture. Inspired by the vita apostolica, they cherished those texts which emphasized the poverty of the apostles (Matt. 19:21), the itinerant aspect of Christ's life (Matt. 8:20), the communal nature of the primitive Jerusalem church (Acts 2:42-47), moral requirements for ministry in the church (1 Tim. 3:1-16), and the role of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:4-11). David of Augsburg, a Franciscan inquisitor, described the nature of Waldensian exegetical writing:

[Valdes] and his followers presumed to interpret the words of the Gospel in a sense peculiarly their own; not perceiving that there were any others, they said that the Gospel should be obeyed according to the letter, and they boasted that they wished to do this and that only they were the true imitators of Christ.(29)

What we discover in the Waldensians, as with any religious group which is attracted to a particular theme in Scripture (for example, poverty, justification, charismatic gifts), is a fundamental pattern of interpretation: when certain texts or scriptural themes touch the experience of the group (or its founder) and become normative for the group's identity and mission, such texts or themes become the standard by which much, if not the rest, of Scripture is interpreted. Such a method of interpretation can highlight a particular truth which speaks to a particular need or crisis, but the possibility remains that other texts or themes may be ignored. At the same time, such stress on particular texts can lead to an insistence on a literalistic interpretation as witnessed, for instance, by David of Augsburg.

It may be helpful to view this stress on literal interpretation in light of the growing devotion to the humanity of Jesus which flowered in the thirteenth century, a devotion nurtured by the Franciscans who were able to channel this preference for an affective spirituality in a direction both orthodox and meaningful.(30) As Margaret Aston suggests, popular religion generally "amounted to an endeavor to live with the inexplicable and intolerable."(31) Popular belief was, for the most part, attached to the concrete and the tangible, not because the laity were grossly materialistic, but because visible, literal forms of piety (and biblical interpretation) could readily express the presence of the divine (for example, security) or commitment to an ideal (for example, apostolic poverty). The Poor of Lyons were noted for believing that

the Scripture has the same effect in the vernacular as in the Latin wherefore they consecrate in the vernacular tongue and administer the sacraments, and they despise the decretals, decrees, sayings and expositions of the saints and [they] adhere only to the Bible . . . and refuse to acknowledge the mystical sense of the Holy Scriptures.(32)
Thus the Waldensians proclaimed the absolute and literal value of the Scriptures as the fundamental means by which one would understand the essence of Christian life.

However, this was not the only method of interpretation which they employed. The fathers of the church, in grappling with the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, taught that the unity of divine revelation (and thus the unity of the Bible) was realized in the correspondence of type and antitype, shadow and reality, finding the New in the Old, and recognizing the fulfillment of the Old in the New: Adam was the type of the New Adam, Christ, just as Eve was the type of Mary. But the Fathers also taught that the realities of the New Testament (the life of Christ, his saving death and resurrection) were found in the church, realities which were celebrated in preaching and the sacraments (for example, Christ's paschal mystery corresponding to the saving mystery of the Eucharist).(33) Consequently, a second typology was established: the historical correspondence between the life of Christ and the life of the church, between the gospel and human experience in every subsequent age.

The Waldensians utilized this second typological interpretation: the New Testament text recounted the life of Christ and the apostles -- men, like the Savior, who had no place to lay their heads, who were simple fishermen and laborers, who preached on the road and in the village market place. As successors to the apostles, the Waldensians believed that they corresponded to them by virtue of their own life of poverty and itinerant preaching. In essence, time seemed to collapse between the foundation of the first Christian community and the birth of the new vita apostolica, so that when Christ spoke to his followers (in the Gospel text), he was speaking in the present moment, in a simple fashion, to his "new apostles" who needed neither priest, nor decretal, nor saint to interpret the Savior's words. According to Bernard Gui, the Waldensians said that "God had commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel to all men, applying to themselves what was said to the apostles whose imitators and successors they boldly declared themselves to be."(34)


Admittedly, the readiness with which the Waldensians embraced the vita apostolica colored their interpretation of the Bible. Attracted by the simplicity of the gospel stories, the Poor Men had little interest (much less ability) in sophisticated study or reflection upon the Scriptures. Just as they employed a literal interpretation of the Bible, they also encouraged another method in their reading of the Scriptures, one which subverted any interest in either elaborate exegesis or dogmatic theology: in its simplicity, the Bible revealed only one striking figure -- Jesus Christ. In him the apostles experienced the exemplar of Christian life; and, as the apostles' successors, the Poor Men asked for nothing else. Thus the study of such topics as the eternal generation of the Word or the proofs for the existence of God did not excite Waldensian believers who viewed these subjects as playthings of a church seemingly blind to the spiritual hungers expressed by simple men and women.

Though little remains of Waldensian writings, the testimony of medieval chroniclers and inquisitors records their rejection of any devotion to someone other than Christ as well as their desire to see no one but the humble Galilean preacher in the Bible. The Poor Men were simply not interested in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity or the intercession of the saints because, to their minds, Christ did not speak of such things in his preaching. This literal Christocentrism shaped that which the Poor Men rejected in the medieval church and that which they fostered in their own communities in terms of liturgical practice and fundamental beliefs:

They say and teach and recognize no other prayer beside the Pater Noster. They have no regard for the salutation of the Virgin Mary or the Apostles' Creed for they say they have been arranged or composed by the Roman church and not by Christ.(35)

Such reports made bishops nervous. One could tolerate lay groups living in voluntary poverty and exhorting the faithful to practice penance, but manifest dissent from the church's tradition highlighted one of the fundamental struggles of the period: the contest between the ecclesial interpretation of Scripture (and the tradition which embodied belief and practice) and private interpretation of the Bible which, undergirded by a literal Christocentrism for instance, created conflict. When assent to a particular body of doctrine was the criterion for membership in the church, a visible principle of exclusion could be employed: one either affirmed formulated propositions (and the visible practice which embodied them) or one was, at best, suspect of stubborn defiance in the face of ecclesial authority.(36) Such was the fate of those Waldensians who refused to be reconciled to a church which they believed had distorted the simple teaching of Christ.

Though they were eventually condemned for usurping the functions of the clergy and creating a church within the church, the Waldensians manifested the religious enthusiasm which bubbled forth as western Europe entered one of its most creative epochs, the High Middle Ages. As European society moved from the stability of feudal agrarian life into the volatile rhythm of urban expansion, exploding trade, and architectural genius, the church witnessed a profusion of religious movements, both bizarre and tame, growing in her midst. "Why all these novelties in the church of God?" wrote Anselm of Havelberg. "Who would not scorn a Christian religion subject to so many variations?"(37) But such novelties grew into movements which discovered in the gospel story a simplicity of life and clarity of purpose rarely experienced in the early Middle Ages. As successors to the apostles, they traveled the roads of Europe and preached the literal value of Scripture, following Christ who spoke to them as clearly and tenderly as he had to his own disciples a thousand years before on the roads of the Galilean plains.

  1. 1 Robert Murray, "The Features of the Earliest Christian Asceticism;" in Christian Spirituality, ed. Peter Brooks (London: SCM Press, 1975), pp. 63-67.
  2. M.-D. Chenu, Nature, Man and Society in the Twelfth Century, ed. and trans. Jerome Taylor and Lester Little (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968), pp. 204-13.
  3. Simon Tugwell, Saint Dominic and the Order of Preachers (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1981), p. 4.
  4. Lester Little, Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1978), p. 121.
  5. Monumenta Germanica Historiae, Scriptores, XXVI, 449.
  6. Ibid., 448.
  7. Stephani de Borbone tractatus de diversis materiis praedicabilis, IV, VII, 342, in Anecdotes historiques, legendes et apologues tirés du recueil inedit d'Etienne de Bourbon, ed. A. Lecoy de la Marche (Paris, 1877), pp. 290-93.
  8. Liber antiheresis, in Die ersten Waldenser, ed. Kurt-Victor Selge, vol. 2 (Berlin, 1967), p. 60 (emphasis added).
  9. "Although on the whole they seem to have been unskilled labourers, shoemakers, weavers, swordmakers, there are found in the documents concerning them, the names of advocates, physicians, and even certain of the nobility" (Ellen Scott Davison, Forerunners of St. Francis, ed. Gertrude R.B. Richards [Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1927], pp. 269-70).
  10. 10 Chenu, Nature, Man and Society, p. 242.
  11. Heresies of the High Middle Ages, ed. Walter Wakefield and Austin Evans (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), pp. 50-53.
  12. Walter Map, De nugis curialium, I, xxxi, in Wakefield and Evans, Heresies, p. 204.
  13. Chenu, Nature, Man and Society, p. 242.
  14. Davison, Forerunners of St. Francis, p. 276.
  15. Bernard Gui, Practica inquisitiones heretice pravitatis, ed. G. Mollat, Manuel de l'Inquisiteur (Paris, 1926), quoted in Religious Dissent in the Middle Ages, ed. Jeffrey Russell (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1971), p. 49.
  16. Margaret Aston, "Popular Religious Movements in the Middle Ages," in The Christian World: A Social and Cultural History, ed. Geoffrey Barraclough (New York: Harry Abrams, 1981), p. 165.
  17. Bernardi abbatis Fonti gallidi ordinis praemonstratensis, Adversus Waldensium sectam liber, in Wakefield and Evans, Heresies, p. 212.
  18. 18 Davison, Forerunners of St. Francis, p. 261.
  19. Edmund Colledge, "Lay Piety as a Force in Late Medieval Society," Proceedings of the Patristic, Medieval and Renaissance Conference, 1 (1976): 16.
  20. Gui, quoted in Russell, Religious Dissent, p. 46.
  21. Jean LeClercq, "The Exposition and Exegesis of Scripture: From Gregory the Great to St. Bernard," in The Cambridge History of the Bible, ed. G. W. H. Lampe, vol. 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), p. 197.
  22. Gui, quoted in Russell, Religious Dissent, p. 50.
  23. W. B. Lockwood, "The Vernacular Scriptures in Germany and the Low Countries before 1500," in Cambridge History of the Bible, 2:427.
  24. David of Augsburg, De inquisitione hereticorum, ed. Wilhelm Preger, "Der Traktat des David von Augsburg ber die Waldensier," Abhandlungen der historischen Classe de k niglich bayerischen Akadamie der Wissenschaften 14 (1878): 217, quoted in Wakefield and Evans, Heresies, p. 661, n. 59.
  25. Colledge, "Lay Piety," p. 9.
  26. Ibid., p. 10.
  27. Chenu, Man, Nature and Society, p. 249.
  28. Walter Wakefield, Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Southern France, 1100-1250 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), pp. 27-36.
  29. David of Augsburg, quoted in Davison, Forerunners of St. Francis, p. 245.
  30. Chenu, Nature, Man and Society, p. 254.
  31. Aston, "Popular Religious Movements," p. 158.
  32. Maxima bibliotheca veterum patrum et antiquorum scriptorum ecclesiasticorum, ed. Marquerin de la Bigne, XIII, 298, quoted in Davison, Forerunners of St. Francis, p. 266.
  33. 33 Jean Daniélou, The Bible and the Liturgy (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1956), p. 5.
  34. Gui, quoted in Russell, Religious Dissent, p. 43.
  35. Ibid., p. 48.
  36. Jeffrey Russell, Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965), pp. 249-58.
  37. Dialogi: De unitate fidei et multiformitate vivendi ab Abel ad novissimum electum (Migne, PL 188, col. 1141).