Beyond Reformation?: An Essay on William Langland s Piers Plowman and the End of Constantinian Christianity

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Beyond Reformation?: An Essay on William Langland s Piers Plowman and the End of Constantinian Christianity

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In Beyond Reformation? An Essay on William Langland s Piers Plowman and the End of Constantinian Christianity, David Aers presents a sustained and profound close reading of the final version of William Langland s Piers Plowman, the most searching Christian poem of the Middle Ages in English. His reading, most unusually, seeks to explore the relations of Langland s poem to both medieval and early modern reformations together with the ending of Constantinian Christianity.

Aers concentrates on Langland s extraordinarily rich ecclesiastic politics and on his account of Christian virtues and the struggles of Conscience to discern how to go on in his often baffling culture. The poem s complex allegory engages with most institutions and forms of life. In doing so, it explores moral languages and their relations to current practices and social tendencies. Langland s vision conveys a strange sense that in his historical moment some moral concepts were being transformed