The Implications of Literacy: Written Language and Models of Interpretation in the 11th and 12th Centuries

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This book explores the influence of literacy on eleventh and twelfth-century life and thought on social organization, on the criticism of ritual and symbol, on the rise of empirical attitudes, on the relationship between language and reality, and on the broad interaction between ideas and society.

Medieval and early modern literacy, Brian Stock argues, did not simply supercede oral discourse but created a new type of interdependence between the oral and the written. If, on the ...

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1982. Hardcover Neat ink underlining through, made with a ruler, else very good, solid condition / lightly rubbed dust jacket 604pp.

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1983 Hardcover Very Good Hardcover with dj. Light shelfwear to dj and small closed tear near front flap. Contents clean and tight. 604 pages, index, notes, bibliography.

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1983 Hardcover Fine/Fine 0691-05368-5 clean, unmarked copy.

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Princeton, NJ 1983 Cloth Very Good Plus. Very Good Dust Jacket 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. 604 pp. Tightly bound. Corners not bumped. Text is free of markings.

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1983 Good 0691053685 Good. (Binding: Hard Cover, Jacket: Good) Some pencil underlines. Spine cocked. Mild shelf wear.

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Overview

This book explores the influence of literacy on eleventh and twelfth-century life and thought on social organization, on the criticism of ritual and symbol, on the rise of empirical attitudes, on the relationship between language and reality, and on the broad interaction between ideas and society.

Medieval and early modern literacy, Brian Stock argues, did not simply supercede oral discourse but created a new type of interdependence between the oral and the written. If, on the surface, medieval culture was largely oral, texts nonetheless emerged as a reference system both for everyday activities and for giving shape to larger vehicles of interpretation. Even when texts were not actually present, people often acted and behaved as if they were.

The book uses methods derived from anthropology, from literary theory, and from historical research, and is divided into five chapters. The first treats the growth and shape of medieval literacy itself. The other four look afresh at some of the period's major issues--heresy, reform, the eucharistic controversy, the thought of Anselm, Abelard, and St. Bernard, together with the interpretation of contemporary experience--in the light of literacy's development. The study concludes that written language was the chief integrating instrument for diverse cultural achievements.

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Editorial Reviews

Manuscipta
This is a major seminal work. It clearly shows in how deep a sense the Middle Ages was by far the most literate period that Western culture had ever know.
— Walter J. Ong
Manuscipta - Walter J. Ong
This is a major seminal work. It clearly shows in how deep a sense the Middle Ages was by far the most literate period that Western culture had ever know.
From the Publisher
"This is a major seminal work. It clearly shows in how deep a sense the Middle Ages was by far the most literate period that Western culture had ever know."—Walter J. Ong, Manuscipta

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691053684
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1983
  • Pages: 610

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