Monday, September 02, 2013

September Update: Forthcoming Material and Latest Developments

I have updated my brochure introducing Theology on the Web to reflect the latest developments. You can download a copy here. Please pass on a copy to anyone whom you think would be interested in supporting this ministry. The priorities for the rest of the year are:
  • Continuing to focus on uploading high quality theological journals and articles. Although I will be adding a few digitised books, other people are filling this need via Unless important titles are blocked, damaged or incomplete then it does not seem a good use of my time to duplicate them.
  • Adding more journal titles to the list I am already working on.
  • To seek paid advertising from Bible Colleges and Seminaries that would guarantee basic site running costs. The websites had over 145,000 visitors in April who are obviously interested in theology, so the sites would seem to lend themselves to this use.
  • To build up a base support of those who are willing to contribute towards the ongoing development of the sites. There are a number of ways to support the sites other than financially, click here to find out how.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Future of "Theology on the Web"

Over the last six months I have been planning how best to take forward the work of Theology on the Web in providing freely available theological material on the Web. To this end I have produced a vision document that I would like to share with those who have benefited from the sites. You can download a copy here. Please pass it on to people and organisations whom you think it might interest.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

New Book on the Cathars and Waldenses

Caterina Bruschi, The Wandering Heretics of Languedoc. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Hbk. ISBN-13: 9780521182270. pp.232.

The publishers blurb reads:

How should historians read sources which record inquisitorial trials in the Middle Ages? How can we understand the fears felt by those on trial? By analysing six volumes of depositions in the trial of Cathar and Waldensian heretics in Languedoc between the late twelfth and the fourteenth century, in this 2009 book, Caterina Bruschi challenges old methodologies in the study of dissent. She examines the intrinsic narratological problems related to the sources and, using approaches from the social sciences, analyses the different fears felt by deponents and how those fears affected their actions and decisions. In so doing, she sheds light on itinerancy within the ecclesial structure of non-conformist movements and contextualises the problem of itinerancy as a benchmark for the definition of heresy. Focusing on the lives and attitudes of trial witnesses, this innovative account is a major contribution to our understanding of the nature of religious non-conformity in the Middle Ages.

Table of Contents

1. Stories, and how to read them
2. Catharism and its mobility
3. Heretical itinerancy
4. Patterns of fear and risk
Conclusions (and starting points)


• Challenges methodological assumptions about how to read medieval trial records
• Analyses unpublished primary sources
• Provides insights into the interactions between inquisitors and deponents

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Paul Cavill on 'Signs and Wonders' and the Venerable Bede

With thanks to Dr Cavill for his kind permission the following article is now available on-line in PDF:

Paul Cavill, "'Signs and Wonders' and the Venerable Bede," The Evangelical Quarterly 60.1 (Jan.-Mar. 1988): 31-42.

Click here to read the article.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Question: By whom and when the Four Symbols of the Evangelists became identified with the Four Latin Fathers of the Church?

I received the following question which I hope someone might be able to help with:

"I am interested in finding by whom and when the Four Symbols of the Evangelists became identified with the Four Latin Fathers of the Church:

St. Gregory with the Ox of Luke
St. Augustine with the Eagle of John

St. Jerome with the Lion of Mark

St. Ambrose with the Man of Matthew.

I know the history of the early use of the four "creatures"  as symbols of the Evangelists, and that St. Iranaeus of Lyons wrote of the further meanings of these symbols. Also I know that the four saints were made Doctors of the Church by Boniface VIII in 1298. I have seen images with the established association of each Doctor with one of the symbols already in the early 14th century. I would like to know when, apparently after 1298, this pairing was set in place.

They appear in a set of windows made in 1888 by Clayton and Bell in London for Christ Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie, NY {pictured above]."

If you have an answer please email me at rob(at) Many thanks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

J.A. Taylor on the Trial and Martyrdom of Jerome of Prague

The following article is now available in PDF. Click here for the link.

Rev. J.A. Taylor, "The Trial and Martyrdom of Jerome of Prague," Bibliotheca Sacra 2 No. 8 (1845): 636-649.

This article is in the Public Domain and can be freely distributed and copied.

B. Sears on the Contest for Supremacy Between the Papacy and the Empire in the Middle Ages

The following articles is now available on-line in PDF. Click here for the link.

B. Sears, "The Contest for Supremacy Between the Papacy and the Empire in the Middle Ages," Bibliotheca Sacra 2 No. 8 (1845): 757-794.

This article is in the Public Domain.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Brian E. Colless on the Legacy of the Ancient Syrian Church

The following article is now available online in PDF. Click read.

Brian E. Colless, "The Legacy of the Ancient Syrian Church," The Evangelical Quarterly 40.2 (April-June 1968): 83-96.

My thanks to Prof. Brian Colless for his kind permission and encouragement.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ian Stackhouse on The Native Roots of Early English Reformation Theology

The following article on the Lollards is now available in PDF:

Ian Stackhouse, "The Native Roots of Early English Reformation Theology," The Evangelical Quarterly 66.1 (Jan.-Mar. 1994): 19-35.

My thanks to Dr Stackhouse for his kind permission to reproduce this article.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Call for Papers & Conference on the Origins of the English Reformation


The English Reformation up to Henry VIII's break with Rome

Speakers will include
Professor Emeritus Sr Anne O'Donnell 
Professor Peter Marshall 
Reverend Doctor Ralph Werrell

Wednesday 3 August to Friday 5 August 2011 
St John's College, Nottingham

We look forward to meeting you in Nottingham in August for the West Midlands Ploughboys' Conference.

The aim of this conference is to consider the early days of the English Reformation separately from the effect of Henry's divorce that triggered the timing of it. Much was published in this period ranging from high-profile names down to Anon. There were also those who wanted a reform within the Catholic Church, and those Catholics who opposed a Reformation outside of the Roman Church. All these are related and important - some have been well covered; others as if they never existed.

We are sure that you will enjoy the speakers, who are among the leading specialists in the subject.

Call for Papers

All too often it is said that the English Reformation was due to Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Although this fixed the date for the Reformation in England, it was by no means the cause of the English Reformation.

There were underlying religious currents that led to the English Reformation - the `English Heresy' stemming from Wyclif as well as Continental influences - these cannot be seen in isolation from the orthodox movements for Reformation (Colet) - nor from the effect of those opposing reform (More). Papers outside the main scope of the conference may also be submitted and will receive a fair consideration. 1534 can never be a fixed deadline - it can only be a guideline. Papers based on Henry's divorce will have a low priority as we consider the programme for the conference.

Time allowed for Papers (25 minutes).

A Summary, of approx. 100-150 words to be submitted to The Revd Dr Ralph S. Werrell; by 24th June 2011.

St John's College is a residential college, and those coming to the conference will be able to stay on the campus. The cost of the conference includes stay in a single-bed room; the showers and bathroom facilities are close by.

The full conference fee is £140.00. This includes all meals (cooked breakfast, two-course hot meal at lunch and evening, and all refreshments during the conference).

You can come for a day or days at a cost of £80 per day. This includes lunch, dinner and refreshments during the conference. It is possible to stay for a single night with breakfast at St John's for £30.

How to get to Nottingham
Please use the link to St John's College website where full details of how to get to St John's is given.

The West Midlands' Ploughboys are members of the Tyndale Society (visit our website at If you would like details of membership of the Society or any further information about this conference, please contact any of the following.

Brian Johnson, 17 Earlstoke Close, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX16 3WL. Tel., +44 (0)1295 273120; email: 

Revd Dr Ralph Werrell, 2a Queens Road, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 1JQ. Tel. +44 (0)1926 858677; email: 

David Surtees, 44 Main Street, Desford, Leicestershire LE9 9GR. Tel. +44 (0)1455 828008

Registration Form
Please complete and return a Registration Form as soon as possible. (If you do not want to print this page please provide your details as here.)
Name ............................................................... 
Address ............................................................. 
Telephone number ................................................ 
email .................................................................. 
I enclose a deposit of £25.00 (balance to be paid, if possible, by 15 July 2011). 
All cheques to be in sterling and made out to West Midlands Ploughboys
and sent to Brian Johnson, 17 Earlstoke Close, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX16 3WL. Tel +44 (0)1295 273120 email:

Any dietary or physical requirements (i.e., difficulty with stairs):


Monday, October 25, 2010

Article on the [Catholic] Church and the Wyclifite Bible available

The following article is now available on-line in PDF:

Parochus, "The Church and the Wyclifite Bible," Scripture 6 No. 3 (Jan. 1954): 79-83. Click here to read.

This article offers a Roman Catholic perspective on the subject that many readers will disagree with. If you have a different view you are welcome to explain it in a comment.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Two important books on Islam

Anyone interested in Islam should take a look at these two works, published 142 years apart.

William Muir, The Life of Mohamet, Vol. 1. Smith, Elder, & Co., London, 1861. is available in HTML format from the Answering Islam website. It may be an old book, but it is still well-worth reading.

Don Richardson, Secrets of the Koran: Revealing Insight into Islam's Holy Book Regal Books, 2003. Pbk. ISBN: 0830731237. pp.260. Richardson presents a detailed case against the claims of Islam - this book is highly recommended.

MedievalChurch site upgraded to PHP

Regular visitors will notice that almost all the pages have changed from .html to .php to allow easier updating of page elements. If you link to any page other than the home page (index.html) please update your link. Thanks!