Balaam's Ass: Vernacular Theology Before the English Reformation

Author: Nicholas Watson

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812298349

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 640

View: 7473

Balaam's Ass attempts the first comprehensive overview of religious writing in early England's vernacular languages--Old English, Insular French, and Middle English--between the ninth and sixteenth centuries. In this first of three volumes, Watson focuses on the first generation of these writings, in Old English and early Middle English.

Approaches to Teaching Langland’s Piers Plowman

Author: Thomas A. Goodmann

Publisher: Modern Language Association

ISBN: 1603293418

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 280

View: 8037

A series of dream visions, Piers Plowman is a moral reckoning of the whole of medieval England, in which every part of society--from church and king to every sort of "folk"--is considered in the light of the narrator's interpretation of Christian revelation. The Middle English poem, rich and beautiful, is a particular challenge to teach: it exists in three versions, lacks a continuous narrative, is written in a West Midlands dialect, weaves a complex allegory, and treats complicated social and political issues, such as labor, Lollardy, and popular uprising. Part 1 of this volume, "Materials," discusses the different versions, critical and classroom editions, and translations of the poem, as well as the many secondary sources. Part 2, "Approaches," helps students engage with the poem's versification, understand its protagonist and its treatment of poverty and equity, and discern connections to the work of other medieval poets, such as Dante and Chaucer.

The Works of Richard Methley

Author: N.A

Publisher: Liturgical Press

ISBN: 0879072865

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 9327

Richard Methley (ca. 1450–1527/8), a Carthusian of Mount Grace, was the last great mystic before the English Reformation. Most of his prolific works are lost, but the treatises translated here display the same kind of experiential, affective, and ecstatic mysticism that is often labeled "feminine." Dating from the 1480s, they include a guide to contemplative prayer, a spiritual diary, and an unknown work on the discernment of spirits. Indebted to Richard Rolle and compared by one of his contemporaries to Margery Kempe, Methley will be an exciting discovery for students of late medieval religion.

What Kind of a Thing Is a Middle English Lyric?

Author: Cristina Maria Cervone,Nicholas Watson

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812298519

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 560

View: 1874

What Kind of a Thing Is a Middle English Lyric? considers issues pertaining to a corpus of several hundred short poems written in Middle English between the twelfth and early fifteenth centuries. The chapters draw on perspectives from varied disciplines, including literary criticism, musicology, art history, and cognitive science. Since the early 1900s, the poems have been categorized as "lyrics," the term now used for most kinds of short poetry, yet neither the difficulties nor the promise of this treatment have received enough attention. In one way, the book argues, considering these poems to be lyrics obscures much of what is interesting about them. Since the nineteenth century, lyrics have been thought of as subjective and best read without reference to cultural context, yet nonetheless they are taken to form a distinct literary tradition. Since Middle English short poems are often communal and usually spoken, sung, and/or danced, this lyric template is not a good fit. In another way, however, the very differences between these poems and the later ones on which current debates about the lyric still focus suggest they have much to offer those debates, and vice versa. As its title suggests, this book thus goes back to the basics, asking fundamental questions about what these poems are, how they function formally and culturally, how they are (and are not) related to other bodies of short poetry, and how they might illuminate and be illuminated by contemporary lyric scholarship. Eleven chapters by medievalists and two responses by modernists, all in careful conversation with one another, reflect on these questions and suggest very different answers. The editors' introduction synthesizes these answers by suggesting that these poems can most usefully be read as a kind of "play," in several senses of that word. The book ends with eight "new Middle English lyrics" by seven contemporary poets.

The Routledge History of Medieval Magic

Author: Sophie Page,Catherine Rider

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317042751

Category: History

Page: 550

View: 7517

The Routledge History of Medieval Magic brings together the work of scholars from across Europe and North America to provide extensive insights into recent developments in the study of medieval magic between c.1100 and c.1500. This book covers a wide range of topics, including the magical texts which circulated in medieval Europe, the attitudes of intellectuals and churchmen to magic, the ways in which magic intersected with other aspects of medieval culture, and the early witch trials of the fifteenth century. In doing so, it offers the reader a detailed look at the impact that magic had within medieval society, such as its relationship to gender roles, natural philosophy, and courtly culture. This is furthered by the book’s interdisciplinary approach, containing chapters dedicated to archaeology, literature, music, and visual culture, as well as texts and manuscripts. The Routledge History of Medieval Magic also outlines how research on this subject could develop in the future, highlighting under-explored subjects, unpublished sources, and new approaches to the topic. It is the ideal book for both established scholars and students of medieval magic.