Date of Award

8-2005

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Larry J. Simon

Second Advisor

Dr. E. Rozanne Elder

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Berkhofer

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

This study examines several sections of Durand of Osca's Liber Antiheresis, specifically the profession of faith, the prologue, and four chapters, for information about Waldensian beliefs in the late twelfth century. Although the majority of the treatise faithfully reproduces contemporary Catholic doctrines, these sections present ideas that are uniquely Waldensian. Based upon a close scrutiny of them, this study seeks to answer two questions: What was the Waldensians' attitude toward the Church? What ideas lay at the heart of their heterodox beliefs?

This study argues that Durand propounds several beliefs that were starkly heterodox and evinces at times an attitude of willful opposition toward the Catholic Church. In fact, it appears that the Waldensians were continuing to distance themselves from the Church even as the Liber was being written. This study also argues that the Liber' s heterodox teachings are largely built upon two ideas: preaching is the most important part of the Christian life, laymen must pursue active Christian lives. It seems that the W aldensians were espousing, not a unique ministry, but rather a vision of Christianity-one which saw the Waldensian life, with its almost single-minded dedication to preaching, as the model that all Christians should follow.

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