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Networking to Orthodoxy: The Case of Durán of Huesca

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 February 2016

Damian J. Smith
Affiliation:
St Louis University
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Extract

While the Franciscan and Dominican Orders were greatly to influence the spiritual and intellectual life of the later Middle Ages and beyond, the religious community of the contemporary of Saints Francis and Dominic, Durán of Huesca, quickly disappeared from the scene. Yet at the beginning of the thirteenth century, the Roman Curia had spent a great deal of time in dealings with Durán and his followers, the Catholic Poor. The papal chancery spilt a fair amount of ink writing to or about Durán, at a time when the affairs of Francis, Dominic and their followers bothered it very little. For Rome, the Catholic Poor were a very exciting prospect. For they had been Christians who had (from the papal viewpoint) slipped into heresy as followers of Valdes, but had then decided to return to the fold. In an age when western Europe was overwhelmingly Catholic, but the perceived threat of heresy was enormous, Durán and the Catholic Poor were great news for the church. That they managed to re-establish themselves within the church was very much a matter of Durán's successful use of international religious networks. That it was the friars who were ultimately to flourish but not the Catholic Poor was in significant measure due to the former’s ability and the latter’s inability to combine the effective use of international networks with an equally positive approach towards the local networks they needed in order to succeed.

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Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Ecclesiastical History Society 1994

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References

1 On the Catholic Poor, the best general works are Thouzellier, C., Catharisme et Valdéisme en Languedoc à la fin du XII’ et au début du XIII’ siècle (Paris, 1966);Google Scholar Selge, K.-V., Die ersten Waldenser: Mit Edition des Liber Antiheresis des Durandus von Osca, 2 vols (Berlin, 1967).Google Scholar

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