Texts of Passion: Latin Devotional Literature and Medieval Society

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In Texts of the Passion, Thomas H. Bestul constructs the literary history of the Latin Passion narratives, placing them within their social, cultural, and historical contexts. He examines the ways in which the Passion is narrated and renarrated in devotional treatises, paying particular attention to the modifications and enlargements of the narrative of the Passion as it is presented in the canonical gospels. Of particular interest to Bestul are the representations of Jews, women, and the body of the crucified ...
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Overview

In Texts of the Passion, Thomas H. Bestul constructs the literary history of the Latin Passion narratives, placing them within their social, cultural, and historical contexts. He examines the ways in which the Passion is narrated and renarrated in devotional treatises, paying particular attention to the modifications and enlargements of the narrative of the Passion as it is presented in the canonical gospels. Of particular interest to Bestul are the representations of Jews, women, and the body of the crucified Christ. Bestul argues that the greatly enlarged role of the Jews in the Passion narratives of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries is connected to the rising anti-Judaism of the period. He explores how the representations of women, particularly the Virgin Mary, express cultural values about the place of women in late medieval society and reveal an increased interest in female subjectivity. He argues that the richly detailed and increasingly graphic descriptions of the torments of Christ in the Passion narratives not only indicate a new concern with the problem of representing pain, but can be linked to the rise of judicial torture in the thirteenth century. Throughout Texts of the Passion, Bestul offers an articulate and theoretically informed remapping of the relationship between vernacular and Latin literature in the Middle Ages.
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Editorial Reviews

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A literary history of the Latin Passion narratives evoking their cultural and historical contexts from 1100 to 1500 and their particular importance to the dominant Christian culture of the European Middle Ages. Bestul (English, U. of Illinois) pays particular attention to the enlarged role of the Jews in the Passion narratives of the 12th and 13th centuries reflecting a rising anti-Judaism, the cultural values represented by the female figures of the Passion, particularly the Virgin Mary, and argues that the increasingly graphic descriptions of the Christ can be linked to the judicial torture of the 13th century. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812233766
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Series: Middle Ages Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Lexile: 1810L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Introduction: Methodology and Theoretical Orientations 1
Ch. 2 Medieval Narratives of the Passion of Christ 26
Ch. 3 The Representation of the Jews in Medieval Passion Narratives 69
Ch. 4 Gender and the Representation of Women in Medieval Passion Narratives 111
Ch. 5 The Passion of Christ and the Institution of Torture 145
App. 1 Meditation by Bernard on the Lamentation of the Blessed Virgin (Meditacio Bernardi de lamentacione beate virginis) 165
App. 2 Preliminary Catalogue of Medieval Passion Narratives 186
Notes 193
Bibliography 239
Index 258
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