Rethinking the Lollardy of the Lucidarie: The Middle English Version of the Elucidarium and Religious Thought in Late Medieval England

Anna Lewis

Abstract


The text commonly known as the Lucidarie, a Middle English translation of part of the twelfth-century Elucidarium of Honorius Augustodunensis into which additional passages of dialogue have been inserted, has frequently been identified as a Lollard work. This paper challenges the case for a Lollard provenance of the translation. It argues that, though the translator may have been influenced by Lollardy, he shows a willingness to move between theological perspectives with little regard for the doctrinal boundary between so-called heresy and orthodoxy. The paper suggests that the Lucidarie and the manuscripts in which it circulated demonstrate that late medieval belief was marked by a doctrinal flexibility that can be obscured when the terms 'Lollard' and 'orthodox' are applied too indiscriminately.


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