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Lydia Walker

Lydia WalkerSixth-year Doctoral Student (in 2017-2018)
Department of History
Project: Lay Spirituality, Crusading, and Reform in the Sermons of Jacques de Vitry

In the early thirteenth century, papal leadership tied together crusading endeavors, clerical reform, the eradication of heresy, proper ecclesiastical governance, and the management of Christian-Jewish relations, and so created a vision of a global Christendom. A key figure was the charismatic preacher Jacques de Vitry. After an active career supporting communities of lay women, preaching crusade, and serving as the Bishop of Acre, Jacques used the last decade of his life to write over 400 sermons, most of which remain unedited. These sermons reflect his lifelong efforts to understand and communicate with people of different social orders, and to share this knowledge with other clerics. This project contributes to our understanding of this fascinating figure, and contributes to the scholarly conversations regarding thirteenth-century preaching, gendered rhetoric, and crusade ideology.

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