Vernacular Spirit: Essays on Medieval Religious Literature

Overview

The late-medieval movement into “vernacular theology,” as it has come to be called, inspired many forms of literary expression in all the languages of Europe. Juxtaposing a rich variety of texts, the contributors to this volume consider hagiography, translations of and commentaries on scripture, accounts of visionary experiences, and devotional literature. Their essays illuminate encounters with the divine mediated through language, bringing into play a diversity of national cultures and disciplinary points of ...

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Overview

The late-medieval movement into “vernacular theology,” as it has come to be called, inspired many forms of literary expression in all the languages of Europe. Juxtaposing a rich variety of texts, the contributors to this volume consider hagiography, translations of and commentaries on scripture, accounts of visionary experiences, and devotional literature. Their essays illuminate encounters with the divine mediated through language, bringing into play a diversity of national cultures and disciplinary points of view. They also engage vital social and political issues connected with religious experience, including challenges to authority, reinterpretations of texts, and renegotiations of gender roles.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The important themes of vernacularity, spirituality, and gender in the later Middle Ages are explored here across a broad European canvas. The Vernacular Spirit brings together studies of English, French, German, Flemish, and Spanish religious and devotional writing; while the volume defines certain issues in common among literary traditions, each essay presents a fully historicized reading of a particular vernacular spiritual community and its emergence within the terms of its own linguistic, cultural, and political tradition. This volume will be an excellent resource for comparative perspectives on vernacular spirituality, and for an understanding of the variety of vernacular literary formations in response to the growth of lay spirituality across medieval Europe." --Rita Copeland, University of Pennsylvania

Booknews
The editors, all American professors of language, present 13 essays that explore the literary reactions to the growth of the "vernacularization" of the divine that accompanied the loss of the monopoly of the Christian clergy over biblical knowledge through a reliance on Latin. The questions of gender inevitably accompanied questions of literacy and, to greater or lesser extents, run through all of the essays here. The literary productions of writers in English, Spanish, and French are all examined. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312293857
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Series: New Middle Ages Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski is Professor of French and Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh.
Duncan Robertson is Professor of French and Spanish at Augusta State University and author of The Medieval Saints' Lives.

Nancy Warren is Assistant Professor of English at Utah State University. She is the author of Spiritual Economies: Female Monasticism in Later Medieval England.

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Table of Contents

Introduction--Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Duncan Robertson, and Nancy Bradley Warren
English
• Rolle Playing: "And the Word Became Flesh"--Lisa Manter
• Disruptive Simplicity: Gaytryge’s Translation of Archbishop Thoresby’s Injunctions --Moira Fitzgibbons
• Excitative Speech: Theories of Emotive Response from Richard Fitzralph to Margery Kempe--Fiona Somerset
French
• Translating Scripture for Ma dame de Champagne : The Old French "Paraphrase" of Psalm Forty-Four (Eructavit )--Morgan Powell
• The Mirror and the Rose: Marguerite Porete’s Reading of Jean de Meun--Barbara Newman
• Degulleville’s Pèlerinage de Jésus-Christ : A Poem of Courtly Devotion--Maureen Boulton
• The Royal Vernacular: Poet and Patron in Christine de Pizan’s Charles V and the Sept psaumes allégorisés --Lori Walters
German and Flemish
• Can God Speak in the Vernacular? On Beatrice of Nazareth's Flemish Exposition of the Love for God--Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen
• Thieves and Carnivals: Gender in German Dominican Literature of the Fourteenth Century--Ulrike Wiethaus
• The Erosion of a Monopoly: German Religious Literature in the Fifteenth Century--Werner Williams-Krapp
Spanish
• Female Patronage of Vernacular Religious Works in Fifteenth-Century Castile: Aristocratic Women and Their Confessors--Ronald E. Surtz
• Cisneros and the Translation of Women’s Spirituality--Elizabeth Teresa Howe
• "Este gran Dios de las cavallerías" ("This Great God of Chivalric Deeds"): St. Teresa’s Performances of the Novels of Chivalry--Carole Slade

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