IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1332: Dangerous Books: Readers' Responses to Heretical Literature, Apocryphal Sources, and Other Suspicious Texts, 500-1500

Wednesday 6 July 2016, 16.30-18.00

Organiser:Irene van Renswoude, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences, Amsterdam
Moderator/Chair:Yitzhak Hen, Department of History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva
Paper 1332-aBanned Books before the Index Librorum Prohibitorum
(Language: English)
Irene van Renswoude, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences, Amsterdam
Irene van Renswoude, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences, Amsterdam
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - Latin, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Religious Life
Paper 1332-bSpinning Apocrypha: Hrotsvit of Gandersheim and the Dissemination of Apocrypha for Court and Cloister in Ottonian Saxony
(Language: English)
Helene Scheck, Department of English, State University of New York, Albany
Helene Scheck, Department of English, State University of New York, Albany
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Paper 1332-c'Libri hereticorum sunt legendi': Jan Hus and His Defence of John Wyclif, 1410
(Language: English)
Pavlína Rychterová, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Pavlína Rychterová, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - Latin, Religious Life, Theology
Abstract

Catalogues and lists that prescribed which books were good to read and which ones should be rejected circulated long before the Index of Forbidden Books (1559). To what extent were the warnings and prohibitions of such lists followed in practice? Were heretical and suspicious books actually banned from being read? Or was there room to discuss the (fluid?) line between acceptable and unacceptable reading? This panel examines the responses of readers and authors to ‘dangerous books’ from the early to the late Middle Ages. Paper a takes a closer look at the prohibitions in medieval book lists and studies the annotations of readers in the margins of rejected texts. Paper b demonstrates the fluidity in categories of acceptability; it shows how Hrosvit of Gandersheim (fl.960) was attracted to apocryphal sources and re-introduced texts that ought to have been suppressed. Paper c discusses the argumentative strategies of Jan Hus’s polemical tract ‘Why the books of the heretics should be read’ (1410) written against the decree to burn John Wyclif’s books.