Richard Rolle and the Invention of Authorityby Nicholas Watson
Pub. Date: 12/28/2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This is the first literary study of the career of Richard Rolle (d. 1349), a Yorkshire hermit and mystic who was one of the most widely-read English writers of the late Middle Ages. Nicholas Watson proposes a new chronology of Rolle's writings, and offers the first literary analyses of a number of his works. He shows how Rolle's career, as a writer of passionate religious works in Latin and later in English, has as its principal focus the establishment of his own spiritual authority. The book also addresses wider issues, suggesting a new way of looking at mystical writing in general, and challenging the prevailing view of the relationship between medieval and Renaissance attitudes to authors and authority.
Table of Contents
Preface; List of abbreviations; Introduction - contexts: three preliminary essays; Part I: 1. Interpreting Rolle's life; 2. The structure of Rolle's thought; Part II: 3. Active life: Judica me as apologetic pastoral; 4. Contemplative life, 'Seeing into Heaven': commentaries and Canticum amoris; Part III: 5. Contemplative life, Fervor: Incendium amoris; 6. Contemplative life, Dulcor: super psalmum vicesimum, Super canticum canticorum, Contra amatores mundi; 7. Contemplative life, Canor: melos amoris; Part IV: 8. 'Mixed' life: Super lectiones mortuorum and Emendatio vitae; 9. 'Mixed' life: the English works; Epilogue: Rolle as a late medieval Auctor; Excursus I: the chronology of Rolle's writings; Excursus II: Rolle's reading and the reliability of the Officium; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
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