Book Series Typologie des Sources du Moyen Âge Occidental, vol. 81-82-83

The Sermon

B.M. Kienzle (ed)

  • Pages: 998 p.
  • Size:160 x 240 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2000

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-51015-6
  • Paperback
  • Available


"The volume catches well the problems of its subject, and it gathers much welcome information in one place."   (S. Wenzel in Speculum, January 2002, p. 204-206)

"Cet ensemble constitue un matériau de tout premier plan pour la connaissance de la période médiévale, encore sous-exploité."

Catherine Vincent dans Revue d'Histoire de l'Eglise de France, 91, 2005, p. 127)


The central literary genre in the life of medieval Christians and Jews, the sermon is an exceedingly rich but until recently under-utiliezd source for scholars of medieval culture. Extant in thousands of unedited manuscripts, sermons provide cruscial insights into the mentalities of medieval people: yet they also pose difficult methodological challenges. The Sermon, volume 81-83 in the series Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental, offers both a practical guide to methodology and extensive coverage of both Latin and vernacular texts. This significant work provides a bridge from sermonists to other scholars, inviting them into the study of this exciting and challenging genre. The Sermon provides guidelines for historical criticism that apply to the sermon genre. An extensive bibliography of works pertinent to the genre, opens the volume; it is divided into sections corresponding to the subsequent chapters. The book's Introduction focuses on the definition of the genre, attempting to establish a working typology of the sermon both as a literary genre and as a medieval text. The Jewish Sermon precedes the chapter on Christian sermons: for the latter the genre's development from Latin to the vernacular serves as the organizational guide. The Latin Sermon is represented in: Early Medieval Homilies and Homiliaries, The Twelfth-Century Monastic Sermon, the Sermons of the Twelfth-Century Schoolmasters and Canons, and the Latin Sermons after 1200. The chapter of medieval preaching in Italy encompasses both Latin and vernacular sermons, and the several chapters devoted to vernacular texts include: Old English; Middle English; Old Norse; French; Spanish; Portuguese and Catalan; and German.Several topics are discussed in each chapter: the definition of the genre, its development, its diffusion, its value for historians, the principal editions and/or manuscripts.