Medieval Monastic Preaching

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This study presents research by specialists of monastic history, literature, and spirituality. Covering the period from 1150 to 1500, this volume demonstrates that monastic preaching was not only carried out in the cloister by monks, but also in public arenas by monks and nuns. The topics range from questioning if the sermons of Bernard of Clairvaux were ever preached, to an analysis of Hildegard of Bingen's preaching against the Cathars. Sermons addressed to monastic communities by secular preachers are also analysed. The diversity of monastic preaching - e.g., cloistered preaching, preaching against heretics, preaching by heretical monks, preaching by nuns - and a geographical range of monastic pastoral history is studied. Medieval Monastic Preaching offers a preliminary step in understanding how sermons and preaching shaped monastic identity in the Middle Ages.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" volume, readable and durable, telling us in detail about monks and nuns at work and at prayer…This volume in Intellectual History is the breaking of ground, ever ancient and ever new, and should have much to say to our story-telling times."
Fr.Thomas K. Carroll, The Downside Review, 1999.

"…high scholarly quality and very well produced."
Siegfried Wenzel, Church History, 2000.

"This whole collection is illuminating because it brings together information about monastic preaching from unexpected quarters, whether it is preaching by hermits, heretical monks, nuns, the sermon collections of the Benedictines or the sermon-writing of contemplative monks."
Gillian Murphy, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 2000.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Carolyn A. Muessig, Ph.D. (1994) in Medieval Studies, Université de Montréal, is Newman Research Fellow of Medieval Theology at the University of Bristol. She is preparing a critical edition of a sermon collection of Jacques de Vitry.
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Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Pt. 1 Introduction
What is Medieval Monastic Preaching? An Introduction 3
Pt. 2 Carthusian Preaching
Why did Denys the Carthusian Write Sermones ad Saeculares? 19
"Shining Forth like the Dawn": Jean Gerson's Sermon to the Carthusians 37
Early Fifteenth-Century Chapterhouse Sermons at the Charterhouse of Mainz 53
Pt. 3 The Cura Monialium in Germany and England
Sermons for Nuns of the Dominican Observance Movement 75
Preaching to Nuns in Late Medieval England 93
Pt. 4 Preaching by Italian Nuns and Hermits
Authority and Inspiration in the Vitae and Sermons of Humility of Faenza 123
Preaching by Italian Hermits 145
Pt. 5 Preaching by and Against the Cathars
Defending the Lord's Vineyard: Hildegard of Bingen's Preaching against the Cathars 163
The Preaching of the Cathars 183
Pt. 6 Preaching Monastic Reform
The Religious's Role in a Post-Fourth-Lateran World: Jacques de Vitry's Sermones ad Status and Historia Occidentalis 209
Monastic Ideals and Episcopal Visitations: The Sermo ad Religiosos of Robert Grosseteste 231
Pt. 7 Benedictine Preaching in England
Benedictine Sermons: Preparation and Practice in the English Monastic Cathedral Cloisters 257
Benedictines and Preaching the Pastoralia in Late Medieval England: A Preliminary Inquiry 279
Pt. 8 Cistercian Preaching
Were the Sermons of St. Bernard on the Song of Songs ever Preached? 295
Killing Time: An Essay on the Monastic Notion of Speed 319
The Liturgical Dimension of Twelfth-Century Cistercian Preaching 335
General Index
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