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Making a Heresiarch: Guido Terreni’s Attack on Joachim of Fiore

  • Thomas Turley
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Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

Reviewing the early critics of Joachim of Fiore in her magisterial work The Influence of Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages, Marjorie Reeves called the fourteenth-century Carmelite theologian Guido Terreni “the first person to put Joachim in a catalogue of heretics.” She was struck by the directness and vehemence of Guido’s attack, as well as his conviction that Joachim’s views were the source of the errors of numerous contemporary heretics—Peter Olivi, the Beghards, the Beguins, and the Fraticelli.1 The catalogue to which Reeves referred was Terreni’s Summa de haeresibus, completed in 1342.2 A substantial and influential work, the Summa went well beyond most previous criticisms of Joachim’s thought, depicting him not only as a heretic, but also as a heresiarch responsible for a cluster of heresies identified long after his death. The work exploited ambiguities in conventional ecclesial articulation of the notion of heresy in order to link Joachim to later errors that could be found nowhere in his writings. The effect on Joachim’s reputation was significant. This chapter explores the motivation and trajectory of Guido Terreni’s attack, the techniques he used in the Summa de haeresibus to define Joachim as a heresiarch, and the impact his work had on later authors.

Keywords

Theological Discourse False Prophet Patristic Source Lateran Council Salvation History 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Marjorie Reeves, The Influence of Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), 69–70.Google Scholar
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    Marjorie Reeves and Beatrice Hirsch-Reich, The Figurae of Joachim of Fiore (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972), 212–23; and, Reeves, The Influence of Prophecy, 30–4.Google Scholar
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  20. 8.
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    On the development of this tradition, Lerner, “Refreshment of the Saints: Time after the Antichrist as a Station for Earthly Progress in Medieval Thought,” Traditio 32 (1976): 97–144, and “The Medieval Return of the Thousand-Year Sabbath,” in The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, 51–71.Google Scholar
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    The term summa was also used of contemporary inquisitors’ manuals, which were typically devoted to a few current heresies and filled with practical advice. See the examples in Walter L. Wakefield and Austin P. Evans, Heresies of the High Middle Ages (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), 296–445, 633–8; Peters, Heresy and Authority, 125–63; and, Sackville, Heresy and Heretics, 13–40. The early fourteenth century saw exceptions,Google Scholar
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© Karen Bollermann, Thomas M. Izbicki, and Cary J. Nederman 2014

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