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The Vernacular Spirit: Essays on Medieval Religious Literature
     

The Vernacular Spirit: Essays on Medieval Religious Literature

by R. Blumenfeld-Kosinski (Editor), N. Warren (Editor), D. Robertson (Editor)
 

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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. Spanning a wide field, the contributors to this volume consider hagiography, translations of and commentaries on scripture, accounts of visionary experiences, and devotional literature. Their essays illuminate

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. Spanning a wide field, 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.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312293857
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
07/28/2002
Series:
The New Middle Ages Series
Edition description:
2002
Pages:
324
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.03(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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