The Bible as talisman
Textus and oath-books
in Approaching the Bible in medieval England
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This chapter follows Bible as they were employed as talismans in the most mundane rituals, both civic and ecclesiastical, and questions how the Bible was put to use as a sacred object. It examines two most recurrent rituals including Masses and oaths, which made use of the biblical books. The chapter also examines the medieval Mass through liturgical manuscripts and their vernacular renderings. It questions the transition of the talismanic uses into modernity, addressing the similarities between modern and medieval uses, as well as the changes that were ushered by the coming of moveable-type print and the Reformation. The Lay Folk Mass Book, a Middle English translation of a late twelfth-century manual for lay participation in the Mass commented upon the required mindset and guided lay devotions. Surviving textus and oath-books rarely present a full and accurate biblical text.

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