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Sacred FollyA New History of the Feast of Fools$
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Max Harris

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449567

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449567.001.0001

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(p.131) Chapter 11 Chapter Support
Sacred Folly

Max Harris

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the cathedral chapters' financial and moral support for the Feast of Fools. In 1400 Jean Gerson, chancellor of the University of Paris, launched his first attack on the Feast of Fools. This was followed by the ecumenical Council of Basel in 1435, by the Pragmatic Sanction of Charles VII of France in 1438, and by the letter from the Paris faculty of theology in 1445. The rise of official opposition caused an increase in documentation of the Feast of Fools. This chapter examines continued chapter support for the Feast of Fools even amid the widespread social instability that characterized much of France during what Barbara Tuchman has called “the calamitous fourteenth century.” It also looks at churches where the Feast of Fools remained an orderly liturgical celebration, duly supported by the local chapter.

Keywords:   cathedral chapters, Feast of Fools, Jean Gerson, Council of Basel, Charles VII, France, faculty of theology, University of Paris, social instability, churches

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