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Gerson as a Preacher in the Conflict Between Mendicants and Secular Priests


Jean Gerson enjoyed a long and successful career as a preacher whose audiences included the French court, the University of Paris, the Council of Constance, the people of Paris and Bruges, religious orders and those who sought his spiritual advice. Prominent mem­bers of French society praised his eloquence, while the complexity and historical importance of his surviving sermons, confessional man­uals and spiritual treatises have encouraged modem scholars to explore Gerson's motivations and goals as a preacher. Although modern evaluations of Gerson's identity as a preacher remain conflicted, espe­cially with respect to his violent polemic against certain visionary women, many modern scholars have identifiedJean Gerson as a par­ticularly compassionate and effective preacher whose sermons were motivated by a genuine concern for the spiritual and temporal wel­fare of simple Christians and the unity and order of the Church.

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