Book Series Disputatio, vol. 3

The Appearances of Medieval Rituals

The Play of Construction and Modification

Nils Holger Petersen, Mette Birkedal Bruun, Jeremy Llewellyn, Eyolf Oestrem (eds)

  • Pages: xiv + 219 p.
  • Size:160 x 240 mm
  • Illustrations:10 b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2005

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-51513-7
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-53753-5
  • E-book
  • Available


"(...) how rich and suggestive this book is and how the debate hoped for can stimulate edditional questions and areas of research. It is a welcome addition to the field for all medievalists." (M. Dobozy, in: The Medieval Review, 08.01.18)


Appearances can be deceptive; and medieval ritual practices are in this respect no exception. They perform stability through the codification of repetitive modes of behaviour and simultaneously admit flexibility in their integration of newer forms of representation. They mask the historical contingencies of their own creation and construct alternative narratives of authority and continuity. They do not simply appear; their appearance reflects the mutual interplay of construction and modification. This collection of eleven essays – which chronologically spans the period from the Carolingians to the Catholic Reform movement of the later sixteenth century – explores this double-edged potential in the appearance of medieval ritual practices; and, in this case, chiefly church rituals. It comprises a series of individual studies by scholars of literature, theology, music, and the visual arts. Each study examines a particular moment of change or transformation in ritual practices, illuminating, thereby, processes of ritualization. In this way, the book both provides an impulse to the recent renewal of methodological interest in ritual studies and presents individual contributions to specific scholarly discourses within this broad area.


Introduction - Nils Holger Petersen, Mette Birkedal Bruun, Jeremy Llewellyn and Eyolf Østrem

Carolingian Music, Ritual, and Theology - Nils Holger Petersen

Roman Theatre and Roman Rite: Twelfth-Century Transformations in Allegory, Ritual, and the Idea of Theatre - Donnalee Dox

Bernard of Clairvaux’s Sermons for the Liturgical Year: A Literary Liturgy - Wim Verbaal

Procession and Contemplation in Bernard of Clairvaux’s First Sermon for Palm Sunday - Mette Birkedal Bruun

Ritual and Repetition: The Ambiguities of Refrains - Andreas Haug

A Paulinus of Aquileia versus in Eleventh-century Italy - Jeremy Llewellyn

Palestrina and Aristotle: Form in Renaissance Music - Eyolf Østrem

Living Rocks and locus amoenus: Architectural Representations of Paradise in Early Christianity - Jens Fleischer

Cultic Vision—Seeing as Ritual: Visual and Liturgical Experience in the Early Christian and Medieval Church - Hans Henrik Lohfert Jørgensen

Alfonso’s Miraculous Book: Patronage, Politics, and Performance in the Cantigas de Santa Maria - Kirstin Kennedy