The Waldensian Movement From Waldo to the Reformation VII

By Dennis McCallum

Endnotes:

1Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians: The First 800 Years (1174-1974) Translated from the Italian by Camillo P. Merlino, Charles W. Arbuthnot, Editor (Torino, Italy: Claudiana Editrice, 1980) p. 5

2See the relevant portions of the Donation of Constantine in translation Brian Teirney, The Crisis of Church and State: 1050-1300, (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1964) p. 21.

3The importance attached to this link can be seen in the comment of a later Presbyterian historian, C.H. Strong, ". . . if it be true that this once fearfully persecuted people is the true connecting link between the Apostolic Church and the Protestant Reformation, then our interest in their history must be greatly heightened. With this view of their antiquity there could scarcely be an incident concerning them that would not be magnified into something of importance." C.H. Strong, A Brief Sketch of the Waldenses, p. 23,24.

4Perrin. -- Histoire des Vaudois et des Albigeois &c., a Geneve, pour Matthieu Berjon, CIC.ICI.XVIII (1618). Two Vols., usually bound in one; Dated from Lyons, in Dauphiny, 1 January, 1618. Cited in Alexis Muston, D.D., The History of the Waldenses Vol. II, p. 398.

5"In the `Acts of the Synods of Dauphiny' (Synod held at Grenoble in 1602) we read, that the pastors of the Embrunois and of the Val Cluson (which was then included in Dauphiny) were requested to collect "all sorts of documents bearing on the history of the life, doctrine, and persecutions of the Albigeois and the Vaudois." Alexis Muston, D.D., The History of the Waldenses Vol. II, p. 398.

6 The Waldenses, (Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1912) p. 31 The MSS were given to Sir Samuel Moreland, who also wrote history on them. Both of these authors are roundly refuted by Pius Melia, D.D., The Origin, Persecutions, and Doctrines of the Waldenses, (London: James Toovery, 1870).

7See below, "Doctrine Before the Reformation."

8 Muston says of Perrin, "Not only did Perrin fail to make proper use of his rich materials, but he has even been accused of having employed them unfaithfully," and of Leger, "Leger is the most diffuse, and one of the most superficial of all our historians. He owes his importance partly to the epoch in which he wrote, and to the imposing form of his work. He is often incorrect, credulous, and carried away by his feeling; but the latter fault was almost inevitable in a contemporary author, himself the victim of the events which he records. Alexis Muston, D.D., The History of the Waldenses Vol. II, 399,402.

9C.H. Strong, A Brief Sketch of the Waldenses, and The Waldenses, (Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1912) p. 29 explains the lack of documentation at several points saying, "The Waldenses complain, that it has been the cruel policy of their persecutors to destroy all the historical memorials of their antiquity."

10Pius Melia, D.D., The Origin, Persecutions, and Doctrines of the Waldenses, pp.59-85. "That the principal reason for which the Waldenses were punished in Piedmont was not precisely their religious belief, but their having been rebellious against the orders of the Sovereign and the laws of the country in which they lived. . ." He goes on to point out that they had killed an officer of the inquisition in the neighborhood, without speculation as to why they would want to attack a friendly inquisitor (p. 83).

11Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians is a good history, written from a friendly but fair point of view. This source takes cognizance of all of the critical findings that I have been able to locate. Tourn seems to be very judicious in his use of the sources, rejecting Waldensian legends, even though he is a Waldensian pastor. He should however, be criticized for down-playing the influence of dualistic asceticism on Waldensian doctrine, and perhaps for the use of one source that did not appear in other literature.

12The Chronicler was Richard, Monk of Cluny, "Rerum Italicarum Scriptores", tom.iii, p. 447 et seq. Reprinted in Pius Melia, D.D.,The Origin Persecutions and Doctrines of the Waldenses, with translation, pp.1-3. For a clearer but abridged translation, see Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 3,4.

13Bernard Gui, Manuel de l'Inquisiteur, Partially reprinted in Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 3,4. For a more complete text of the source in translation, see Jeffrey Burton Russell, Religious Dissent in the Middle Ages, (New York: John Wiley & Sons, J1971) pp.42-52. including methods to use in an inquisitorial session with a Waldensian,

14Bernard Gui in Jeffrey Burton Russell, Religious Dissent in the Middle Ages, p. 44.

15This translation was done by priests in Lyons, Bernard Ydros, and Steven de Ansa who were paid for their work by Waldo. F. Steven de Bellavilla, "Scriptores Ordinum Praedicatorum," reproduced with translation in Pius Melia, D.D., The Origin, Persecutions, and Doctrines of the Waldenses, pp. 9-14. This source says he had met several times the later translator. Writing in the early 1200's, he would be considered a good source. He describes the excommunication of The Waldensians, and their practice of changing disguises frequently (from cobbler to merchant etc.) as they traveled around, to avoid detection.

16This short description by Mapes "De Nugis Curialium," one of the earliest reference to The Waldensians, is among the manuscripts of the Bodleian Library (851) at Oxford. Mapes goes on to relate that they were forbidden to teach, and concludes, "Naked, they follow a naked Christ. Their beginnings are humble in the extreme, for they have not yet much of a following, but if we should leave them to their devices they will end by turning all of us out." Partially reproduced in Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians p. 14.

17This is an example of what was called "ignorance" and "illiteracy" by Mapes.

18"Direct personal experience of God and its propagation through preaching, unless adapted to the sacramental life of the church, constituted [a] . . .greater threat: for, carried to its conclusion, it meant nothing less than entirely renouncing the arbitrament of the church and denying its raison d'etra as the expression of God's saving will on earth." Jeffrey B. Russell ed., Religious Dissent in the Middle Ages, p. 105.

19Pius Melia, D.D., The Origin, Persecutions, and Doctrines of the Waldenses, p. 89.

20Note the inconsistency in the claim that they were illiterate, yet they translated the Bible and other books "in common speech". While many no doubt were illiterate, it is likely that for others, their illiteracy consisted of inability to read languages other than Provencal.

For an example of the logic used to reject their right to preach, see F. Moneta, "Venerabilis Patris Monetae Cemonensis Ordinis Praedicatorum adversus Catharos et Waldenses, Libri quinque", (Rome: Thomas Augustin Ricchini, 1743) original with translation in Pius Melia, D.D. The Origin Persecutions and Doctrines of the Waldenses, pp.4-9.

21Alan of Lille, Against The Waldensians (1200-1202), partially reprinted in translation in Jeffrey Burton Russell, Religious Dissent in the Middle Ages, pp. 52,53.

22For instance, the Cathari were widely believed to have been influenced by Manichaen doctrine, denied by many today. However, they probably were influenced by the Paulicians and the Bogomils, who were from the Balkan region. So, Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity Volume I: to A.D. 1500, (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1975) p. 454. Latourette says, "The Cathari were but one expression of the religious ferment, chiefly Christian in its forms, which profoundly moved the Latin South of Europe in these centuries." p. 453.

23For a good succinct evaluation of the Catharite heresy, see Jeffrey B. Russell ed., Religious Dissent in the Middle Ages, (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1971), pp. 55-76.

24Quoted in Emilio Comba, D.D., History of the Waldenses of Italy, (London: Truslove & Shirley, 1889), p. 16 He adds, "It seemed indeed as if the foundations of the Church were being upheaved; storms of ideas and lurid lights were arising on all sides. . .These were intermingled with new interpretations of the Gospel which were audaciously progressive, and with opinions, which on the contrary, sought refuge in primitive Christian tradition against the innovations of Rome." Comba, although he is a Waldensian pastor, rejects the antiquity of The Waldensians.

25Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity Volume I: to A.D. 1500, p. 448.

26Margaret Deansly, A History of the Medieval Church 590-1500 (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1972) p. 219.

27Margaret Deansly, A History of the Medieval Church 590-1500 (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1972) p. 221.

28Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity Volume I: to A.D. 1500, p. 449,450.

29Margaret Deansly, A History of the Medieval Church 590-1500 (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1972) p. 219.

30Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity Volume I, p. 450-451.

31Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 15.

32Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity Volume I: to A.D. 1500, p. 449.

33For the state of biblical scholarship in the 14th century, see William J. Courtenay, "The Bible in the Fourteenth Century: Some Observations" in Church History, Vol. 54 No. 2 (Sp. 1985) pp. 176-187.

34The same general area also gave rise to the Cistercians in the 1100's and the Franciscans and Dominicans in the 1200's-- three of the main orders of this period. Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity Volume I: to A.D. 1500, p. 453.

35Biller identifies distinct orders of "brothers" and "sisters" in the later fifteenth century Waldensians who like the Barba, traveled and preached for at least part of their careers (there may have been a later contemplative phase for the older brothers). Biller shows that the rite of entry to the brotherhood included the "profession of the three monastic vows. . .greater strictness [than other mendicant orders] . . .a requirement of virginity, not just celibacy in a candidate, automatic expulsion for a sexual lapse, a longer period of probation after profession of vows, twelve years in one case. . ." Peter Biller, "Multum Ieiunantes et se Castigantes: Medieval Waldensian Asceticism" in Monks, Hermits and the Ascetic Tradition: Papers read at the 1984 Summer Meeting and the 1985 Winter Meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society, (London: Basil Blackwell, 1985) pp. 218,219.

36See a concise analysis of Asceticism based on the writings of Augustine in Henry Chadwick, "The Ascetic Ideal in the History of the Church," in Monks Hermits and the Ascetic Tradition, pp. 1-23. This period was formative for the history of asceticism in the church, because the overwhelming influx of so-called "converts" after Constantine was threatening to erase the distinction between Christian and pagan. In the face of social pressure to become Christian, millions were joining the church without having been converted. Thus, in addition to the dualistic reasons for asceticism (suspicion of the material world) there was the effort to put distance between one's self and the nominal Christians (see pp. 8-9).

37James Doyne Dawson, "Richard Fitzralph and the Fourteenth-Century Poverty Controversy", Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 34, #3 (Jul. 1983) p. 317.

38Eschatological, because concerned with making it to heaven (see note 38 below). However, the other ascetic orders also were concerned with making it to heaven. Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 50.

39W. E. Goodrich, "The Cistercian Founders and the Rule: Some Reconsiderations," in Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 35, No.3 p. 358 (July 1984).

40Although Pius Melia claims that, "It is therefore beyond doubt that, before the time of Luther and Calvin, the Waldenses admitted all the books of the [Catholic] Bible. . ." (e.g. including the Apocrypha) the only evidence he gives is the presence of two portions of apocryphal books in translation in the Cambridge collection of Waldensians mss. Pius Melia, D. D., The Origin, Persecutions, and Doctrines of the Waldenses, p. 93,98. However, this conclusion seems unwarranted. The Waldensians definitely rejected the existence of purgatory during the early period, and claimed that it was foreign to the scriptures. They also argued that there was nothing anyone could do once a person died, as can be seen from the following early record of the Inquisition.

". . .one who does good will go to paradise, and one who does evil will go to hell and damnation; purgatory does not exist. Indeed, whoever believes in purgatory is condemned already. Further, charities after one's death should not be done, for charities after death have no value; that they do not profit the one who does them if they are not done before death. . ." "Interrogation of Filippo Regis" at his trial in 1451, published by G. Weitzecker, Processo di un valdese nell'anno 1451, in Rivista Cristiana IX (1881) pp. 363-67, Partially reproduced in translation in Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, pp. 55,56.

These views would be impossible to argue if the book of II Maccabees was viewed as canonical. There is no statement in any Waldensian writing affirming the canonicity of the Apocrypha. These books, like the writings of the fathers (which are also found in Waldensian translation) were apparently used as supplemental material, as indeed they were so viewed by most of the Roman Catholic Church during this period.

41The established orders of monasteries were obtaining great wealth during this period. See Bainton's insight that when reaching new areas during a time when currency was worthless, only a self-supporting monastery was in a position to survive. Later, as land was donated, the serfs were donated along with it. The monks would accept the serfs, and so became land major lords. "Altogether they were the most enterprising businessmen of their day." Roland Bainton, "The Ministry in the Middle Ages," in The Ministry In Historical Perspective, H. Richard Niebuhr and Daniel D. Willians, Editors, (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1956) pp. 86,87.

42Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 6,21,39.

43By the end of the 15th century Biller is able to describe the Waldensian "brothers" as giving, ". . .a two dimensional picture of the asceticism of a strict and clandestine mendicant Order." Yet one has to remember that this was almost 300 years after the movement had begun. One only has to compare the church in 350 AD to the church in Acts to realize how much things may have changed in such a long period. Peter Biller, "Multum Ieiunantes et se Castigantes: Medieval Waldensian Asceticism" in Monks, Hermits and the Ascetic Tradition, p. 223. When taking confession, "their penance was heavier than that imposed by the priests in the Church." For instance, they demanded "fasting one or two days a week for a year or several years" for excessive love-making with one's wife or husband (p. 226).

44The reason for the rejection of Waldo is given as his ignorance. Yet, Francis was not rejected. Of course, there were different popes involved, and the church had the experience of The Waldensians to reflect on at the time of Francis. I think that the only visible difference of importance was the fact that Waldo had the Bible translated. Therefore, when the Poor of Lyons preached, it was with a Bible in their hands in the vernacular. This was probably a level of authority too threatening to tolerate.

45Edward Peters ed., Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe: Documents in Translation, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1980) p. 140.

46In the year 1180, Henri de Marcy, the Pontifical Delegate, was in southern France to organize a campaign against the Cathari, and there encountered Waldo. He called on Waldo to sign a statement of adherence to the Roman Catholic faith, and without hesitation he did so. Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 11.

47". . .the praxis of the primitive church plays a normative role for The Waldensians. . . it constantly occurs in their theological declarations, next to the reference to the dominant authority of Scripture. . ." Milic Lochman, "Not Just One Reformation: The Waldensian and Hussite Heritage." Reformed World. Vol. 33, No. 5 (Mar. 75) p. 219.

48Bernard Abbot Fontis Calidi, Adversus Valdensium Sectam, (Biblioteca Veterum Patrum, Vol. xxv. p. 1585, 1677) given partially with translation in Pius Melia, D.D., The Origin, Persecutions, and Doctrines of the Waldenses, pp. 14-16.

49Gretser, Contra Valdensius IV, Given in translation in Emilio Comba, D.D., History of the Waldenses of Italy, p. 3, 4.

50Melia says, "The Waldenses were condemned, in fact, by Pope Lucius III., at a Council held in Verona, in the presence of many Bishops and of the Emperor Frederick, in the year 1184, with these words: `By Apostolical Authority, and by means of this Constitution, we do condemn every heresy, whatever name it bears, and principally the Catharites and the Patherines, and those who, with a wrong name, call themselves, with Deception, the Humbled or the Poor of Lyons.'" Pius Melia, D.D., The Origin, Persecutions, and Doctrines of the Waldenses, p. 16. Likewise, Margaret Deansly, A History of the Medieval Church 590-1500 (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1972) p. 221. But Tourn says that this was only a prohibition of their preaching. He says that they were not definitively condemned for heresy until the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 232.

51The reason given was "obstinacy." Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 12.

52Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 12. See also Deansly, ""Margaret Deansly, A History of the Medieval Church 590-1500 (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1972) p. 221

53Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity Volume I: to A.D. 1500, p. 452. Tourn adds that The Waldensians struck a chord with the tone of northern Italian piety. The Pateria were very receptive to The Waldensians in this region. They also met some of the followers of Arnold of Brescia, the disciple of Abelard, who had travelled all over Europe making the acquaintance of various dissident groups and had even started a popular movement in Rome. It was Arnold who first advanced the notion of a complete separation between religious and political powers." Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, pp. 15,16. It is in the addition of the North Italian dissidents that The Waldensians could claim some pre-existence. There had been resistance to Papal claims in this area for some time, but it was not based on evangelical doctrine, as some protestant writers assert.

54This tenant led to added persecution in a day when fealty oaths were the basis of society. The Waldensians were outside the law, because they refused to swear allegiance to anyone. Some Inquisitors claimed that they were allowed to swear a limited number of oaths under torture in order to save themselves and others. Bernard Gui, "Manuel de l'Inquisiteur", in Jeffrey Burton Russell, Religious Dissent in the Middle Ages, pp. 51,52.

55Pius Melia, D.D., The Origin, Persecutions, and Doctrines of the Waldenses, pp. 101-129. This section of Melia's book has been copied for viewing at Xenos Fellowship office. It not only cites several original Waldensian and inquisitorial documents for each point in the original and in translation, but in addition, each doctrine mentioned is answered from the Roman Catholic point of view. Melia cites the scriptural and "de fide" documents with references that set forth the Roman Catholic position on each point. Such a defense is unusual and hard to find, especially in such condensed form.

56According to Tourn, ". . .in Waldensian thinking one cardinal point had stood out from the beginning: an insistence on a clear separation between the civil power and the exercise of religion. . ." Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 70. This idea seems to also underlie numerous claims by inquisitors that The Waldensians rejected the authority of all earthly princes. It is likely that they were actually rejecting the right of secular rulers to lead pogroms supposedly based on religion.

57A typical witness to this view is Raymond de Costa's description of a Waldensian eucharist, ". . .bless, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, this bread, this fish, [a distinctive Waldensians addition] and this wine, not as a sacrifice and offering, but as a simple commemoration of the most holy supper which Jesus Christ our Lord instituted. . .," From the "Testimony of Raymond de Costa at his trial in 1320," published by J. Duvernoy, Le Registre d'Inquisition de Jacques Fournier, Toulouse, 1965. partially reproduced in Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 41,42.

58Tourn says, "The fact, for instance, that any true believer could administer the sacrament of the Lord's Supper indicates that the hierarchical structure of the Church with its sacerdotal power had been overcome." Yet it is not clear what went in its place. Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 50, 51. One of the statements in a document called, "Waldo's statement of Faith", dated by Tourn 1180 is, "We believe also that anyone in this age who keeps to a proper life, giving alms and doing other good works from his own possessions and observing the precepts from the Lord, can be saved." p. 14. This author was unable to confirm the authenticity of this source.

59So also, Jan Milic Lochman, "Not Just One Reformation: The Waldensian and Hussite Heritage," in Reformed World, Vol. 33 No. 5 (Mar. 75) p.220.

60The Cathari were called Albigensians because their main city was Albi in southern France.

61Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 18. Not everyone agreed with coercion. Genoa and Piacenza, for instance, refused to include in their legislation any laws against the heretics; Cremora advertised itself as a kind of free zone for any escapees from the crusade of 1208. (p. 26).

62"Sermon on the consecration of a pope", in Brian Teirney, The Crisis of Church and State: 1050-1300, pp. 131,132.

63Documented in Brian Teirney, The Crisis of Church and State: 1050-1300, p. 128.

64Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 36, 46 52 63, 64, 65 88-91.

65The list is too long in some cases. Protestant authors have been accused of exaggerating the purges, and there are accounts that seem to take morbid delight in the sins of the Roman Catholic Church at the expense of truth.

66Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity Volume I: to A.D. 1500, p. 452.

67"The Passau Anonymous: On the origins of Heresy and the Sect of The Waldensians," in Edward Peters, Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe, p. 150-153.

68Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 61. He also warns that not all references to Waldensians are to be believed, "heretical tendencies of every sort were called `Waldensian.' One remembers that Joan of Arc was condemned for her `Waldensianism.' In the Index of the Flemish Church, Waldensian meant a mysterious character, close to the world of witches and sorcerers, worshipers of the devil and practitioners of black magic. Fascination with this view has rewarded us with verbal accounts by inquisitors and also some remarkable miniatures by Flemish artists, such as those picturing Waldensians flying on brooms or participating in the nightly excursions and dances of witches." p. 40, 41 He also produces a plate of one of the broom flying pictures on after p. 46.

69Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 66.

70The practice of calling their leaders "uncles" stemmed from the desire to literally obey the command in the gospels to "call no man father. . .[or] teacher" (Mt. 23:8-10), and because the term was deceptive and helped keep secret who their leaders were.

71Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 59,60.

72Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 64,65. There were also other incidents of violence, though few in number. ". . . The Waldensians assassinated the inquisitors Peter of Verona and Conrad of Marburg; we know also that not a few priests in Bohemia who were caught up in the repression there came to the same end."(p. 48).

73Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 64

74Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 69

75Quoted in Jan Milic Lochman, "Not Just One Reformation: The Waldensian and Hussite Heritage." Reformed World. Vol. 33, No. 5 (Mar. 75) p. 221.

76Cameron thinks that this Synod was not an orderly meeting as Tourn suggests, but a series of discussions between various clusters of Waldensians and Reformed over a period of time, perhaps punctuated by one major meeting. Unfortunately, based on the documents he analyses, it is hard to understand his point. He admits that such a meeting did occur, and that the outcome was as claims, but he refers to it as the "The myth of Chanforan." Euan Cameron, The Reformation of the Heretics: The Waldenses of the Alps, 1480-1580, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984) pp.138-144.

77The Waldensians agreed. Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 70-73.

78Giorgio Tourn, The Waldensians, p. 73.

79See their reports from the River Platte along with some commentary on their organization and makeup in Reformed World, Vol.30,31.


Bibliography

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