Sermons du concile de Constance

Les sermons proposés ici sont une contribution du Dr. Chris L. Nighman (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) et du Dr. Phillip Stump (Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia, USA).

Quidam sermones in concilio Constanciensi habiti

The Council of Constance (1414-18) was arguably the most important general church council between Lateran IV in the early 13th century and Trent in the mid-16th century. The council met to resolve three crises in the church: the threat of heresy posed by the Wyclifites and Hussites; the papal schism in which three claimants vied for recognition as the legitimate pope; and widespread clerical abuses. Only in healing the schism was the council wholly successful, but its accomplishments in terms of reform have been undervalued until recently.

Among the various sources for this council are approximately 200 surviving sermons and orations delivered at Constance. Heinrich Finke, the general editor of a 4-volume collection of previously unpublished materials from this council (Acta concilii Constanciensis, Münster, 1896-1928) which includes a sermon register containing excerpts of many of these sermons, noted that they are the "liveliest" sources for this important council. Nevertheless, despite the efforts of Finke and his collaborators, and their predecessors and successors, a large body of the surviving Constance sermons remain unedited or only partly edited. And many of those which have been published are in cllections that are difficult to access.

The purpose of this webpage is to remove the second of these obstacles to scholarship by providing electronic texts of a number of Latin sermons delivered at Constance that are contained in rare books published between 1490 and 1764 (see bibliography below). It is hoped that the provision of these texts will aid scholars of conciliar sermons who otherwise would have difficulty accessing these sources and also enable all scholars of these sermons to conduct electronic searches for words, names or titles that may be of special interest in their research.

This webpage currently provides electronic transcriptions of the following sermons:

The editorial practices employed in transcribing these texts have been minimal and are simply intended to facilitate reading and electronic searching. We have corrected obvious typographical errors and have altered diphthongs to read as separate letters (e.g. æ > ae), and we have silently expanded all ligatures and most abbreviations. Punctuation has also been altered in accordance with modern usage. But there has been no attempt to infer the original text of difficult passages or otherwise editorialize the text, a task best left to future editors who would have all of the surviving manuscript copies in hand.
The transcriber for each sermon is indicated by initials following the sermon's date:

  • CN = Chris L. Nighman, Asst. Professor of History, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • PS = Philipp H. Stump, Assoc. Professor of History, Lynchburg College
  • JS = Jason Sager, PhD candidate, Wilfrid Laurier University

The texts provided by the Electronic Sources for the Council of Constance Project are derived from the following sources:

  • Petrus de Alliaco, Tractatus et sermones (1490).
  • Hermann von der Hardt (ed). Magnum oecumenicum Constantiense concilium. 7 vols. (Frankfurt & Leipzig, 1696-1700).
  • Hermann von der Hardt (ed). Historia litteraria reformationis. 3 vols. (Leipzig, 1717).
  • Christian W. Walch (ed.). Monimenta medii aevi. 3 vols. Göttingen, (1757-64).