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Inspiration and Authority in the Middle AgesProphets and their Critics from Scholasticism to Humanism$
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Brian FitzGerald

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198808244

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198808244.001.0001

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(p.230) Conclusion
Inspiration and Authority in the Middle Ages

Brian FitzGerald

Oxford University Press

The Conclusion traces the burgeoning humanist movement’s indebtedness to the conception of poetic theology articulated by Albertino Mussato. The chapter then places this aspect of humanism within the context of larger fourteenth-century developments in religious culture. Italian humanists such as Petrarch and Boccaccio positioned themselves as new prophetic authorities—successors to scholastic theologians—based on their intellectual abilities. At the same, there was a reaction among many clerics and lay people who resisted the connection of prophecy to learning and intellect, whether in humanist or scholastic hands. Mystics and visionaries, especially lay women, claimed the direct, unmediated inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Prophecy in its various manifestations thus continued to fuel debates about Christian life and thought.

Keywords:   Petrarch, Bocaccio, Salutati, poetry, mysticism, Italy, Renaissance, Christianity

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