Skip Navigation Links
Sermo (SERMO 4)
K. Rivers
Preaching the Memory of Virtue and Vice
Memory, Images, and Preaching in the Late Middle Ages

Add to basket ->
XVII+377 p., 4 b/w ill., 2 b/w line art, 160 x 240 mm, 2010
ISBN: 978-2-503-51525-0
Languages: English
HardbackHardback
The publication is available.The publication is available.
Retail price: EUR 85,00 excl. tax
How to order?
Online content: http://www.brepolsonline.net/action/showBook?doi=10.1484/M.SERMO-EB.5.106311
This volume explores the integral role of memory and mnemonic techniques in medieval preaching from the thirteenth to the early fifteenth century.
This volume explores the integral role of memory and mnemonic techniques in medieval preaching from the thirteenth to the early fifteenth century. It argues that the mendicant orders inherited from the early Middle Ages both the simple mnemonic techniques of rhetorical practice and a tradition of monastic meditation founded on memory images. In the thirteenth century Dominican and Franciscan writers drew on these basic techniques even as they re-evaluated the ancient mnemonic system of the Rhetorica ad Herennium (first century BC). The increasing emphasis that intellectuals placed upon cognitive science, ethics, and on distinctions between rhetoric and logic created a climate that welcomed an image-based memory system designed for orators. The book also explores the Franciscan contribution to mnemonics, which has been almost entirely neglected by scholars. As the Franciscans came to value imaginative meditation as part of their own spiritual lives, their habit of meditating on mental images of the virtues and vices eventually spilled out into their sermons. As the new orators of the period, Franciscans and Dominicans each inserted mnemonic images into their sermons as a way to aid the recall of both preachers and listeners. The products of such mnemonic practices in medieval sermons, which included elaborate descriptions of buildings, schematic renderings of the number seven, and verbal images of the virtues and vices, were then allegorised in moral terms and circulated on the continent in exempla collections. This book argues that verbal images and complicated schema functioned as ‘ordering devices’ for those preaching and listening to sermons, whilst also provoking an affective response that enhanced listeners’ devotional and penitential experiences. 
Table of Contents

CONTENTS

List of Illustrations

Preface

Author’s Note

List of Abbreviations

Introduction

Part I. The Transformation of Memory in the High Middle Ages

Chapter 1: The Pressures of Memory in the Twelfth Century

Chapter 2: The Influence of the Mendicant Orders on Mnemonic Theory

Chapter 3: Franciscan Memory and Meditation

Part II. Constructing the Preacher’s Memory

Chapter 4: Mnemonic Advice for Preachers

Chapter 5: Theoretical Justifications for the Use of Images in Preaching

Chapter 6: The Mnemonic Exempla of the Classicizing Friars

Part III. The Spread of Mnemonic Exempla

Chapter 7: France: Mythography and the Virtues and Vices

Chapter 8: Johannes von Werden’s Dormisecure and the Circulation of Picturae in Germany and Central Europe

Chapter 9: Memory Precepts in Italian Preaching

Conclusion

Bibliography

General Index

Review

"This is a well-written and stimulating study, full of close reference to the medieval texts it relies on and making use of much material still available only in manuscript." (G. R. Evans, in Journal of Theological Studies 62/1, April 2011)

"This volume offers substantive research into a rich world of largely unstudied authors, helping to explain what made a good sermon." (Constant J. Mews, in Journal of Ecclesiastical History 62/3, July 2011)

"Rivers has written a fine study on the role of memory and mnemonic practices in twelfth through fifteenth-century medieval preaching." (John T. Slotemaker, in: Religious Studies Review, vol. 38 (4), 2012, p. 247)

"Rivers weist die große Bedeutung der englischen Antikenrezeption des 14. Jahrhunderts für die Gestaltung und Memorierung von Predigten schlüssig nach und eröffnet so eine spannende Perspektive für zukünftige Studien im weiten Feld der Predigt- und Memoria-Forschung." (Georg Strack, in: Sehepunkte 13 (2013), Nr. 2)

Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Christian devotion & forms of religious expression
Sermons & preaching
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
Comparative & cultural studies through literature
Literacy
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : main subdisciplines
Religious history
Medieval European history (400-1500) : local & regional history
British Isles

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
Privacy Policy - Terms and Conditions © 2017 Brepols Publishers NV/SA - All Rights Reserved