The Last Judgement in Medieval Latin Model Sermons

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Abstract

The article examines specimens from five Latin sermon collections that were widely used as models for sermon composition in the later Middle Ages. Four of the collections were studied in incunable editions. One of the results is that the only day of the eclesiastical year on which one finds a more or less regular discussion of the Last Judgement is the first or second Sunday of Advent. The subject is rarely treated on other Sundays - and where this does occur, the collections suggest the Advent sermons as possible substitutes. Several traditions of depicting the Last Judgement seem to have arisen, one explaining it in analogy with the stages and procedures of a criminal court, which would be known to the audience; another by concentrating on the protagonists in court and identifying the individual listener with one of them. A third tradition involves a frightening description of the signs and perlis of Judgement Day, and yet another lists the many different punishments and explains to the listeners which of their own sins entail which punishment. Instilling fear in the audience seems, however, to be only one of several options: instead, one could concentrate on the fact that the Last Judgement is something that devout Christians should anticipate gladly, as for them it means ultimate justice and eternal salvation. The study gives an idea of the range of ways of treating the Last Judgement and shows that the rhetorical techniques employed are sophisticated, and that the use of images from, and analogies with, daily life is firmly rooted in the Latin tradition. In an Appendix the contents and organization of a pre-1478 edition of Johann Herolt, Sermones Discipuli, are displayed in order to demonstrate the usefulness to scholarship of such indices in early printed sermon collections.

Detaljer

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Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Religionsvetenskap

Nyckelord

Originalspråkengelska
Titel på värdpublikationThe Last Judgement in Medieval Preaching
RedaktörerThom Mertens, Maria Sherwood-Smith, Michael Mecklenburg, Hans-Jochen Schiewer
FörlagBrepols
Sidor1-17
ISBN (tryckt)978-2-503-53967-6, 978-2-503-51524-3
StatusPublished - 2013
PublikationskategoriForskning
Peer review utfördJa