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Title: The Polemical Use of Scripture in the Chronicle of Hugh of Flavigny
Author(s): HEALY, Patrick
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 73    Issue: 1   Date: 2006   
Pages: 1-36
DOI: 10.2143/RTPM.73.1.2014929

Abstract :
This article deals with the exegetical method of Hugh of Flavigny, a Lotharingian monk who composed a world chronicle between c. 1085 and 1102. The second half of Hugh’s work was composed in defence of Pope Gregory VII (1073-85), whose programme of reform and death in exile was the object of much contemporary debate. In his defence of Gregory’s pontificate, Hugh — like many pro-papal writers — had recourse to a polemical interpretation of Scripture that had three main purposes: to justify the legitimacy of Pope Gregory’s measures against King Henry IV of Germany (1056-1106), to prophesise future divine retribution against the apparently victorious party of Henry IV, and to promise future rewards for the Gregorian ‘martyrs’ who had suffered for the cause of righteousness. Hugh’s polemical interpretation of the Bible was very similar in method and intent to others contemporary and near-contemporary supporters of Gregory VII, such as Bernhard of Hildesheim, Manegold of Lautenbach and Bonizo of Sutri. However, in addition to sharing some of the typical concerns and methods of pro-papal polemic, Hugh’s exegesis demonstrates considerable originality, especially when dealing with the reconciliation of apparently contradictory texts and when explaining the process of spiritual

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