Electronic Sources for the Council of Constance: Project Description

The  Council  of  Constance  (1414-18)  was  arguably the most important general church council between Lateran IV in the early 13th century and Trent in the mid-16th century.  The council met to resolve three crises in the church: the threat of heresy posed by the Wyclifites and Hussites; the papal schism in which three claimants vied for recognition as the legitimate pope; and widespread clerical abuses.  Only in healing the schism was the council wholly successful, but its accomplishments in terms of reform have been undervalued until recently.

The Electronic Sources for the Council of Constance Project aims to provide electronic texts of a number of important documents associated with this council, in particular those which advocate ecclesiastical reform, that are relatively difficult to access because the editions were printed in rare books published between 1490 and 1764.

The editorial practices employed in transcribing these texts have been minimal and are simply intended to facilitate reading and electronic searching.  We have corrected obvious typographical errors and have altered diphthongs to read as separate letters (e.g. > ae), and we have silently expanded all ligatures and most abbreviations.  Punctuation has also been altered in accordance with modern usage.  But there has been no attempt to infer the original text of difficult passages or otherwise editorialize the text, a task best left to future editors who would have all of the surviving manuscript copies in hand.

This project is the product of an ongoing collaboration between Dr. Chris L. Nighman of Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, and Dr. Phillip Stump of Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia.  We welcome any comments, suggestions or queries users may have regarding the website and the texts it contains.

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