Jakoubek of Stříbro and the so-called Sermon in Týn Church of 31 January PDF

77 Jakoubek of Stříbro and the so-called Sermon in Týn Church of 31 January 1417 Kristína Sedláčková (Brno) Jakoubek had expressed his views on the question of images at least since 1411; it was above

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77 Jakoubek of Stříbro and the so-called Sermon in Týn Church of 31 January 1417 Kristína Sedláčková (Brno) Jakoubek had expressed his views on the question of images at least since 1411; it was above all in his university quaestia: Utrum potest summus princeps, 1411; Posicio de Antichristo, 1412; Quia heu in templis, before mid-1414; further, Evangelijní postila, , and the letter to an unknown priest, De fumalibus, Nevertheless, his name is cited exclusively in connection with the so-called Sermon in Týn Church [týnské kázání]. 2 Above all, the literature of art history, which deals with the period after the year 1420, views this sermon as a crucial milestone as an impulse to the consequent outbreak of iconoclastic upheavals (for instance, Jan Chlíbec, or Jaromír Homolka). 3 These views are based on the fundamental study of Zdeněk Nejedlý, 4 who was the first to attempt a systematic explication of the manuscript, from which he cites several passages. Nejedlý, however, committed a serious error when he combined two independent items, namely De fumalibus (1415) and the so-called Sermon in Týn Church (1417), both of which are found in the same codex (MS. Prague, NK III G 28). While in his letter to the country priest, Jakoubek still expresses himself in a very radical manner 5 (we can here speak even about a theoretical iconoclasm ), two years later evidently under the impact of intermediate events 6 we no longer find such ferocious 1 Spunar I nos. 562, 563, 567, 648, 655; František M. Bartoš, Literární činnost M. Jakoubka ze Stříbra, [The literary activity of M. Jakoubek of Stříbro] [Sbírka pramenů ku poznání literárního života v Čechách, na Moravě a ve Slezsku III/8] (Prague, 1925) nos. 23, 25, 33, 95, I have analysed in detail Jakoubek s view of images, as well as dealt with those of Matěj of Janov, Nicholas of Dresden, and Peter Payne, in my diploma thesis: Kristína Sedláčková, De ymaginibus. Matěj z Janova, Mikuláš z Drážďan, Jakoubek ze Stříbra, Petr Payne. Master s thesis Masaryk University (Brno, 2003). 3 Jaromír Homolka, Sochařství, in: Praha středověká (Prague, 1983) 1:463: A sort of milestone is the fiery sermon of Jakoubek of Stříbro in the Týn Church. Jan Chlíbec, K vývoji názorů Jana Rokycany na umělecké dílo, [Towards an evolution in the thought of Jan Rokycana on artistic production] Husitský Tábor 8 (1985) 39; idem, Husitské obrazoborectví a meze jeho tolerance k výtvarnému dílu, [Hussite iconoclasm and the limits of its tolerance of the works of art] Dějiny a současnost 5 (1994) 49: from whose pulpit [in the Týn Church] in 1417 Jakoubek delivered his famous iconoclastic address opening the door to an active iconoclasm. 4 Zdeněk Nejedlý, Dějiny husitského zpěvu (2. edn., Prague, ) especially 4: Jacobello da Misa: Epistola ad quendam plebanum de fumalibus, de imaginibus, de censibus ecclesiae, ed., Zdeněk Mareš, L Ecclesiologia calistina di Jacobello da Misa ( ), Diss. Pontifical Lateran University (Rome, 1997) 139: Nam, ut dixi, licet forte bene et bona intencione, invente sunt ymagines ad bonum usum, tamen iam propter antiquatum abusum earum sunt destruende; quantum omnis populus christianus istam intelligeret deordinacionem et abhominacionem stantem in loco sancto, ubi non debet, quis michi hoc dabit, ut omnis homo prophetet istam sentenciam et omnis sacerdos et predicator populos in ambonibus doceant, ut cognoscentes seducciones Antichristi sciant ex Dei gracia penitere et Antichristi laqueos evitare, ut sciret populus christianus, quam potens est iniquitas demonum et Antichristi in talibus ymaginibus, quasi Dei et suorum sanctorum et in templo Dei dementare homines et ludificare? 6 For instance, the Coucil of Constance in 1415 accused King Wenceslaus IV, as well as his Queen Sophia, that they sided with the Reformers, that they did not oppose those who were 78 expressions. In my opinion, precisely this error of Nejedlý had caused Jakoubek s Sermon in the Týn Church to be regarded as a key to the subsequent iconoclasm. Not much new resulted from the next work by Jana Bělohlávková (1992) that was devoted to Jakoubek s sermon. 7 Her aim, however, was more an editorial work, rather than one of interpretation. Yet, to some extent the discussion about the effect of Jakoubek s sermon did continue. Some maintained that his words, proclaimed in the Týn Church on 31 January 1417, did elicit an excited response from the populace of Prague (František Bartoš and Jiří Kejř), others had doubts (Josef Macek and František Šmahel). 8 An analysis of the manuscript itself, both of its form and of its content, is the most likely way to assess the possible impact of the Sermon in the Týn Church. Although some historians (for instance, already Václav V. Tomek, who was the first destroying the images of saints and crucifixes, and that they even agreed with the latter; see Documenta 640. The same Council accused Jerome of Prague that in 1414 he besmirched the miraculous crucifix at the monastery of St. James in Prague with human excrement and other impurities, while he simultaneously kept exclaiming that the depiction of the crucified Christ was a heresy; FRB VIII: 300. Subsequently, he was charged in Constance that he also incited two laymen to disgrace a cross; Václav Novotný, M. Jan Hus, život a učení 2 vv. (Prague, ), I/2:337. An anonymous complaint from 1416 charged that preachers attack the teaching and the rites of the Church in Kozí Hrádek and in the town of Ústí nad Lužnicí: First, that in Kozí Hrádek and its environs, as well as in Ústí, there were and are sermons preached that the veneration of vestments, images, and sacraments was a vanity It was the bishops, whom these preachers call locust and stallions, invented all that veneration of vestments and images out of avarice And on Good Friday, they told the people that they adored an idol and added with contempt that on that day fornicators and monks would engage in playing games. See Josef Macek, Ktož jsú boží bojovníci, [Who are the warriors of God?] Čtení o Táboře v husitském revolučním hnutí (Prague, 1951) 31; for the original of the Roman priest s complaint see Documenta For instance, Štěpán of Dolany (1417) reports sarcastically on the destruction of images: You talk together with other of your inventions, as if it were a child s play, that statues and images cause idolatry, and therefore you have destroyed many of them in the churches, as they were idols. You have really performed great deeds! You have invented a new law, and corrected an error, which all the holy fathers had failed to correct from the ancient times to the birth, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ until your own coming, so that the holy church of God, hitherto so dangerously misled, used the image of the Crucified with a required veneration to the eternal King Jesus Christ, as well as venerated images of other saints. See Jana Nechutová, Polemika Štěpána z Dolan s husitskou ikonofóbií, [The polemic of Štěpán of Dolany with Hussite iconophobia] Husitství-Reformace- Renesance, Sborník k 60. narozeninám F. Šmahela, 3 vv. (Prague, 1994) 1: In 1417, perhaps already after Jakoubek s address in the Týn Church, Křišťan of Prachatice wrote a letter to the priest Koranda in Plzeň, in which he complained about the ordinary people of both genders who despite the warnings of university masters were proclaiming that there was no purgatory, that it was useless to pray for the dead or to invoke the saints, and that relics should be discarded on manure piles, and images thrown into fire. See Documenta Jana Bělohlávková, Die Ansichten über Bilder im Werk der tschechischen Reformprediger, Studie o rukopisech 29 (1992) 53-64; the article is based on her master s thesis: Jakoubek ze Stříbra a Petr Payne: O obrazech, Master s Thesis, Philosophical Faculty, Charles University (FF UK), Library of the Institute of Art History FF UK (Prague, 1987). 8 František M. Bartoš, Do čtyř pražských artikulů. Z myšlenkových i ústavních zápasů let , [Towards the Four Articles of Prague. From the intellectual and institutional struggles of the years ] Sborník příspěvků k dějinám hlavního města Prahy 5/2 (1932) 494; Jiří Kejř, Deklarace pražské university z 10. března 1417 o přijímání pod obojí a jejich historické pozadí, [The declaration of the University of Prague of 10 March 1417 on communion sub utraque and its historical background] Sborník historický 8 (1961) 144 n. 54; František Šmahel, Husitská revoluce 4 vv. 2nd ed. (Prague, ) 2:296; 355 n. 269; Josef Macek, Tábor v husitském revolučním hnutí [Tabor in the Hussite revolutionary movement] (Prague, 1956) 1:195 n. 92. 79 to introduce Jakoubek s sermon to the scholarly audience), 9 refer to it as a university questio (Kejř and Bělohlávková), 10 the prevailing ordinary opinion considers it a sermon. Its identity as a quaestio is beyond doubt; from the formal viewpoint it contains all the appropriate attributes: It is introduced by the positing of a question (questio) that begins traditionally with the word utrum, and defines the problem, the answer for which will be sought in the following part: Utrum secundum legem ewangelicam plebes Cristi fideles necessitantur in templis suis aliquam habendo ymaginem colere, adorare vel aliter quomodolibet venerari. The propositions follow, suggesting both a positive and a negative solution of the question, without, however, a substantial argumentation. Notabilia clarify the basic terms that will be used and that are, therefore, essential for the correct understanding and answering the question. The terms in question are ymago, or figura, and adoracio, with the latter traditionally differentiated as latria, dulia, and hyperdulia; Jakoubek also attempts to distinguish between adorare (outward expression of respect), and colere (internal expression of respect), without, however, observing the distinction himself. He presents the solution of the question in three conclusions with a number of correlaria. The very form of the text raises a number of questions that are not easy to answer. Could a university questio take place in a parish church and, moreover, on a Sunday, when disputation should not be staged? What was Jakoubek s relation to the Týn Church; why did he not rather use as his platform the Bethlehem Chapel, where he was a preacher, and where he might have more likely found an appropriate audience? We can only guess what had then transpired. It is certain that the year 1417 was the time of a considerable unrest: Prague was under an interdict because of the presence of Master Jesenice, a struggle for the control of parishes was in progress, etc. Also the fact that Jakoubek, within merely six days after the unanimous decision of the university (21 January 1417), 11 questioned this decision (at least in the matter of images) and suggests that in all probability he was unable to carry on the dispute on the grounds of the university. The form of a university questio indicates that the participants were educated individuals, knowledgeable in Latin, and not members of the ordinary populace, who could be inspired to acts of mass violence. Moreover, the iconoclastic disturbances did not take place until two years later. Let us turn to the contents of the questio. In the normally neutral proposition, it already betrays an adherence to the Bohemian Reformation when it appeals for the negative solution to the authority of Scripture and for the positive solution to St. Dionysius (Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita). The same spirit is manifest in the following notabilia when, during the classification of adoracio, the appeal is made to Jan Hus instead of the orthodox Thomas Aquinas. The solution of the questio, as I have mentioned previously, is presented in three conclusions determined by the divers interpretations of the word ymago, as defined in the notabilia. The first conclusion deals with the ymago of the highest uncreated type, the image of the Son 9 Václav V. Tomek, Děje University Pražské [The history of Prague University.] (Prague, 1849) 1: Jiří Kejř, Deklarace pražské university, 144. Only four years later he already speaks of a sermon. See Kejř, Husitský právník M. Jan z Jesenice [The Hussite lawyer M. Jan Jesenice] (Prague, 1965) 111 n. 77. Bělohlávková, Jakoubek ze Stříbra, and idem, Die Ansichten. 11 Documenta ; Bartoš, Do čtyř pražských artikulů 13. 80 of God, Jesus Christ. Unsurprisingly, it is entirely positive: According to the law of God both the church triumphant, and the church militant, is to adore [colere] and to venerate [venerari] that living first uncreated image of God. 12 In the spirit of the high regard of the Bohemian Reformation for the Eucharist, the image of the sacrament of the altar also deserves the ultimate respect (colere adoracione latrie), because it contains Christ truly, really, powerfully, presently, and essentially. The second conclusion refers to the image of man and also has a positive tenor: According to the law of the Gospels people are to pay respect through the dulia to the living created images, that is those that are the members of Christ, the poor, the simple, and other neighbours, as well as enemies; and according to the law of God, they are to esteem these living images rather than the fabricated ones. By dulia he understands the love for one s brethren, manifest by mutual good works spiritual and physical (Romans 12:10ff). 13 At last, the third conclusion explicates the word ymago as referring to fabricated images, admonishing: According to the law of the Gospels, Christians should not keep, venerate or in any other manner pay respect in their temples to that last and least type of images produced by human craftsmanship. The main and decisive argument is that Scripture does not mandate such a practice. 14 Because of the size of the questio, Jakoubek devotes relatively little space to the fabricated images. He advances virtually no novel arguments; he limits himself to the traditional material of Matěj of Janov, only somewhat enriched by new input from Nicholas of Dresden. Thus in the discussion of the Eucharist he does not fail to emphasize that the human mind is fickle; it turns easily to external sensual matters which absorb its attention and interfere with adoring the sacrament in spirit and in truth. The earthly man prefers to honour a fabricated image rather than the invisible image of God. Thus the sight of beautiful, appealing, pious virgins, such as St. Katherine, elicits physical love, piety, and even tears and great trust toward the saints, but none of that springs from the spirit of Jesus. In addition, there are heretics who perceive human forms where they do not belong. Thus, they created an image of God in the form of a great, handsome, and noble man; they are called anthropomorphists, because they assume that God has human parts that are described in Scripture. Therefore, everything that is in the temples that the people venerate and adore and that may interfere with the true cult of adoring the uncreated image of the sacrament should be removed from the sight of the people. Otherwise, 12 Secundum legem Dei tam ecclesia triumphans quam militans necessitantur habere, colere et venerari illam vivam et primam ymaginem increatam Dei. Probatur, quia talis ymago, ut supra notatum est, est primogenitus Dei Filius See Sedláčková, De ymaginibus Secundum legem ewangelicam pebes cristiane necessitantur vivas ymagines creatas, scilicet que sunt membra Cristi, pauperes, simplices et alios omnes proximos, eciam inimicos, dulia venerari et ex lege Dei debent multo magis honorare tales ymagines vivas quam artificiales; et hoc veneracione dulie patet: Quia ex precepto cristiani necessitantur proximos diligere in effectum, et ut sic secundum Apostolum debent se invicem prevenire honore et opera nunc spiritualia et carnalia sibi invicem ostendenda. Sedláčková, De ymaginibus Plebes cristianorum non necessitantur secundum legem ewangelicam in templis suis illud extremum et minimum genus ymaginum artificio humano fabricatum habere, colere vel aliter quomodolibet venerari. Patet, quia nullibi hoc lex ewangelica precipit discurrendo similia Dominica et ewangelica precepta, igitur etc. Ecce ut dicit Augustinus in fine 2i libri De Doctrina cristiana, quod ita perfecta est lex Dei, quod quidquid homo extra didicerit, si noxium est, ibi dampnatur; si utile est, ibi invenitur. Cum ergo ex scriptura Legis non invenitur utilitas talium ymaginum, sed plus dispendium et periculum, miror, quomodo quis zelanter eas audet defendere sine fundamento legis Cristi ewangelice. Sedláčková, De ymaginibus 168. 81 it might become a stumbling block that may prevent the concentration of attention on the public cult of adoring Christ, whether these distractions are images, or relics, or other matters. Even though Jakoubek includes the Eucharist among the fabricated images that interfere with the adoration of Christ, this particular case is an exception, because the figure of the sacrament from Christ s power has a much greater effectiveness for inspiring the people to adore Christ than has a fabricated image from the power and work of a painter. 15 Therefore, when it was felt that the people misused such inanimate objects and ascribed to them the honour of divinity, the great saints of the Old and New Testaments removed such objects so that they might not become occasions of idolatry. This was done, for instance, by the saintly King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:4) and by Moses (Ex 32:24, 20), as well as mandated by canon law (D. 63, c. 28). In the same way, when speaking of man as the image of God, Jakoubek does not fail to mention the persecution of living images, while the non-living images are invoked and defended. He quotes the words of St. Augustine: Let not religion be for us the cult of human works, because the artists themselves, who produce them, are better than the works, yet we are not to venerate the artists; 16 and the words of Clement: If we venerate visible images in honour of the invisible God, that is for sure mendacious; if you really wish to venerate the image of God venerate the actual existing divine image, because an image of God is in every man, yet there is not the figure of God in everyone, it is only where there is a kind soul and a pure mind Because what kind of an honouring of God is that which attaches itself to stony or wooden forms, venerates empty and spiritless idols as divinities, and values an honour that shows contempt for the true image of God? Jakoubek adds further: from all this it is evident to what extent the modern clergy, together with the misguided people likes its inventions and is exceedingly eager to defend and protect them. 17 The principal argument, however, is the authority of Scripture, which notes more the divisiveness and danger of fabricated images than their usefulness. Jakoubek states: I wonder how someone can dare to zealously defend them, without finding a basis in Christ s evangelical law. The argumentation is also based on the order of creation. Any fabricated image, albeit the most beautiful, was less apt to inspire in the faithful an adoration of God than a being that is higher in the order of creation, for instance, plants (Mt 6:29), animals simply everything alive that, as a divine creation, was better and more perfect than any human artefact. Yet, we do not venerate such humble creation, therefore, a fortiori neither the beauty of fabricated images ought to be venerated. 15 figura sacramenti ex Cristi institucione multo maioris efficacie est ad erigendum plebes in adoracione ibi ad Cristum, quam artificialis ymago ex institucione vel operacione pictoris. Sedláčková, De ymaginibus Non sit nobis religio humanorum oper
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