Book Series Sermo, vol. 6

Constructing the Medieval Sermon

Roger Andersson (ed)

  • Pages: 338 p.
  • Size:160 x 240 mm
  • Illustrations:5 b/w, 4 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English, German, Latin
  • Publication Year:2008

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-52589-1
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-53875-4
  • E-book
  • Available

The fascinating essays in this volume consider the 'construction'--in the most diverse sense--of medieval sermons from a range of disciplinary perspectives.


"These studies display a strong interest in philological problems of editing, language, and the evaluation of manuscript sources and thus contribute to laying foundations for a growing subject."

(in Medium Aevum LXXIX, 2010, p. 170)

"This is a rich study of the diversity of what constitutes the varied method of medieval sermon composition. [...] For the expert this is a goldmine in the explication of the complexities of sermon construction in the Middle Ages."

(Carolyn Muessig, in Kyrkohistorisk Årsskrift 110, 2010, p. 212)

"Le thème de la construction des sermons médiévaux apparaît ici dans tout sa complexité et dans toute sa variété."

(Sophie Delmas, dans Revue Mabillon 21 (t. 82), 2010, p. 331)

"This volume of essays is a substantial contribution to the growing body of literature on medieval sermons and a model of interdisciplinary scholarship." (K. Rivers, in: The Medieval Review, 09.05.11)


In considering the construction of medieval sermons, the term ‘construction’ has many meanings. Those studied here range from questions about sermon composition with the help of artes praedicandi or model collections to a more abstract investigation of the mental construction of the concepts of sermon and preacher. Sermons from a range of European countries, written both in Latin and vernaculars, are subjected to a broad variety of analyses. The approach demonstrates the vitality of this sub-discipline. Most of the essays are more occupied with literary and philological problems than with the religious content of the sermons. While many focus on vernacular sermons, the Latin cultural and literary background is always considered and shows how vernacular preaching was in part based on a more learned Latin culture. The collection testifies both to the increasing esteem of the study of vernacular sermons, and to a revival in the study of all those things contained in a preacher’s 'workshop', ranging from rhetorical invention, medieval library holdings and study-aids, through to factors that are crucial for the successful delivery of the sermon, such as the choice of language, mnemonic devices and addressing the audience. The interdisciplinary approach remains ever-present, not only in the diversity of the academic disciplines represented, but also within individual essays. The volume is based on a conference held in Stockholm, 7-9 October 2004.