The Devil's Rights and The Redemption in the Literature of Medieval England

Overview

The concept of the Devil's rights is a problematic aspect of the medieval doctrine of the Redemption. This study takes issue with a number of modern assumptions about the place of the Devil in the medieval scheme of the Redemption and how this was presented in theological and vernacular writing. With special reference to literature produced in England, Marx argues for a new hypothesis to explain the persistent interest in the Devil's rights in the middle ages. The approach is interdisciplinary and demonstrates ...

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Overview

The concept of the Devil's rights is a problematic aspect of the medieval doctrine of the Redemption. This study takes issue with a number of modern assumptions about the place of the Devil in the medieval scheme of the Redemption and how this was presented in theological and vernacular writing. With special reference to literature produced in England, Marx argues for a new hypothesis to explain the persistent interest in the Devil's rights in the middle ages. The approach is interdisciplinary and demonstrates how both vernacular and popular Latin writing in medieval England responded to and absorbed the effects of theological controversy. Use of the concept of the Devil's rights is examined in a number of important texts as well as sermons and narratives of the life of Christ. The picture that emerges is one in which ideas about the Devil's rights find counterparts in popular writing and contribute to the development of the tradition of the debate between Christ and the Devil.C.W. MARXteaches at the Department of English, University of Wales at Lampeter.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780859914550
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/29/1995
  • Pages: 196

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 The Devil's Rights and the Doctrine of the Redemption (I): the Twelfth-Century Controversy and its Origins 7
2 The Devil's Rights and the Doctrine of the Redemption (II): Commentaries and Encyclopaedic Texts 28
3 From the Gospel of Nicodemus to the 'Trials of Satan' 47
4 Robert Grosseteste's Chasteau d'Amour 65
5 The Devil's Rights in the Vernacular Gospel of Nicodemus and Instructional Writing 80
6 Piers Plowman 100
7 The Middle English Mystery Plays and the Cornish Ordinalia 114
8 The Devils' Parliament 126
App. 1: Hugh of St Cher [Postilla super totam Bibliam] 140
App. 2: Robert de Melun, Sentences, book 2, part 2, chapters 14-17 146
App. 3: Robert Grosseteste, Sermo 44/Dictum 10 155
App. 4: Anglo-Norman and Middle English Manuscripts of the Chasteau d'Amour 160
Select Bibliography 171
Index 179
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