English Preaching in the Late Middle Ages

Overview


This interdisciplinary study of English sermons written in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries focuses on material recorded in English and relates the surviving texts to their historical and cultural background. H. Leith Spencer shows how the use of the vernacular to explore ideas hitherto expressed in Latin anticipated the better-known developments of the sixteenth century. His detailed and original study, drawing on the most up-to-date research, uncovers the pluralism of the medieval English church ...
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Overview


This interdisciplinary study of English sermons written in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries focuses on material recorded in English and relates the surviving texts to their historical and cultural background. H. Leith Spencer shows how the use of the vernacular to explore ideas hitherto expressed in Latin anticipated the better-known developments of the sixteenth century. His detailed and original study, drawing on the most up-to-date research, uncovers the pluralism of the medieval English church that anti-heretical legislation and Reformed propaganda sought to deny.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Spencer provides an interdisciplinary, illuminating, and much-needed study of late medieval English sermons and preaching. This seminal work...[is] an important addition to libraries."--Choice

"This judicious and immensely learned book satisfies the promise of its title....The book is filled with lots of ...fascinating, sometimes amusing, information....This book is an important contribution to the history of Christian preaching."--Sixteenth Century Journal

"[A] fine study....This is a book to purchase, for it will not be superseded for some time."--Studies in the Age of Chaucer

"[A] learned, exhaustive, and at times witty treatment of late fourteenth- and fifteenth-century sermons and English preaching.""--Religious Studies Review

"This book satisfies a real need. Not since G.R. Owst's pioneering efforts more than a half-century ago...has anyone attempted such a comprehensive survey of the field."--The Journal of Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198112037
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Pages: 560
  • Lexile: 1650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Exeter College, Oxford
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
A Note on Transcriptions
1 Introduction 1
2 Setting the Scene
i Organization and Content of Sermons 20
ii Preaching and Teaching 33
iii Preachers and Teachers 49
iv Audiences and Circumstances of Preaching 64
3 Ancient Customs and New Manners: Medieval Views of Preaching
i Art and the 'Naked Truth': Similitudes and Exempla 78
ii Literature and Pulpit 88
iii Audiences' Opinions of Sermons 91
iv Imitations of Sermons 108
v 'English Latin' 118
4 Preaching the Gospel
i Literacy and 'God's Word' 134
ii Traditional Attitudes to Gospel Preaching 149
iii Arundel's Provincial Constitutions 163
iv The Preaching of the Gospel 189
5 The Preaching of Pastoralia
i Lay Religious Education: Learning or Faith? 196
ii Initiatives by Authority 201
iii Pastoralia and Sermons 207
iv Adaptation of Pecham's Syllabus in Preaching 211
v Sermons in Association with Other Instructional Texts 216
vi Inclusion of Pastoralia in De Tempore Sermons 219
6 Sermon Form
i The Controversy 228
ii 'Ancient' and 'Modern' 231
iii Ancient Form 235
iv Modern Form 242
v Three Modern Sermons 247
vi The English Sermon Writers 251
vii Conclusions 265
7 The Evidence of the Manuscripts
i Compilatio 269
ii Independent Collections 276
iii The Wycliffite Sermons and their Derivatives 278
iv The Festial and Related Manuscripts 311
v Conclusions 316
8 The Sermons' Later History: A Postscript 321
Appendix: Selected Sermon Summaries 335
Notes 359
Bibliography 497
Index to Manuscripts Cited 523
General Index 530
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