The Grammar of Good Friday: Macaronic Sermons of Late Medieval England

Overview

This volume offers a study of Good Friday preaching and an edition (with modern translation) of five highly imaginative, rhetorically sophisticated macaronic (mixed Latin and Middle English) Good Friday sermons preached in late medieval England (c. 1350-1450). The study investigates the way medieval preachers made use of popular topoi and popular categorizations, reworking and recombining well-known material to create new sets of associations and images. The features that these sermons share with other genres, ...
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Overview

This volume offers a study of Good Friday preaching and an edition (with modern translation) of five highly imaginative, rhetorically sophisticated macaronic (mixed Latin and Middle English) Good Friday sermons preached in late medieval England (c. 1350-1450). The study investigates the way medieval preachers made use of popular topoi and popular categorizations, reworking and recombining well-known material to create new sets of associations and images. The features that these sermons share with other genres, such as Passion plays, meditative treatises, and Middle English lyrics, reveal the rich cross-fertilization of this material and the cultural pervasiveness of topoi and images we often associate with literary works such as Piers Plowman. The sermons in this edition, all but one previously unavailable, increase our understanding of the medieval art of memory, the relationship between verbal and visual images, affective piety, and medieval rhetoric. Finally, all five of the sermons edited are macaronic, two of them switching between Latin and Middle English within almost every sentence; they thus offer a significant witness to this curious linguistic phenomenon. This volume presents new and rich source material and places this material into its wider cultural contexts with a detailed investigation of the rhetorical dimensions and intended effects of late medieval Good Friday preaching.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9782503533391
  • Publisher: Brepols Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/30/2011
  • Series: SERMO Series , #8
  • Pages: 485

Meet the Author

Holly Johnson teaches courses in Old and Middle English Literature at the Mississippi State University. She specializes in late-medieval literature, with an interest in sermons, the art of memory and the medieval imagination.
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