Forerunners of the Reformation is both an original contribution to intellectual history and a fundamental source book. Its purpose is to bring the discussion of late medieval Christian thought to a wider audience, not only in college and university seminars but among educated laymen who want to give their concern for Christian unity a deeper historical grounding.
The key themes of the book are conciliarism, curialism, mysticism, various types of scholasticism, the spirituality of the Devotio Moderna, and the impact of Renaissance humanism. Source material includes major selections from the works of Jan Hus, Pius II, John Brevicoxa, Gabriel Biel, Johann von Staupitz, Cardinal Catjetan, Cornelisz Hoen, Jacobus Faber Stapulensis, and Desiderius Erasmus.
Forerunners of the Reformation strengthens the growing tendency to move beyond a purely confessional reading of the past. Professor Oberman's long introductory chapter, "The Case of the Forerunner," helps to combat an equally unhistorical separation of the medieval and Reformation periods, and is a brilliant essay on the various roles played by the Forerunner in medieval thought.
From jacket flap.