Thursday, June 08, 2023

Widespread Disagreement About The Afterlife Before The Reformation

In a recent post, I cited a book on the cult of the saints by Matthew Dal Santo. Something that often comes up in the book is the wide variety of views of the afterlife held by late patristic and medieval sources. For example:

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Opposition To Prayer To The Saints Among The Pre-Reformation Hussites

The pre-Reformation Hussites differed with each other in some of their beliefs, but we find a rejection of prayer to saints among some of them. For example, the historian Nick Needham wrote concerning the Taborites:

"They were much more radical in their rejection of Catholic doctrines and practices than the Utraquists were (e.g. Taborites denied transubstantiation, the invocation of saints, and prayers for the dead), and wanted to break away entirely from the Catholic Church." (2000 Years Of Christ's Power, Vol. 2: The Middle Ages [United Kingdom: Christian Focus, 2016], approximate Kindle location 6711)

See here for a collection of other examples of pre-Reformation opposition to praying to saints and angels and responses to arguments for the practice.

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Doubts About Prayer To The Saints In The Late Patristic And Early Medieval Eras

A little over a decade ago, Matthew Dal Santo published a book about skepticism of the cult of the saints in the late patristic and early medieval eras (Debating The Saints' Cult In The Age Of Gregory The Great [United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2012]). Here's an abstract of the book: