Preaching the Bible
Three Advent Sunday sermons
in Approaching the Bible in medieval England
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This chapter begins with an exploration of preachers' own understanding of sermons as biblical media, which draws also on ars praedicandi treatises to question the link between Bible, preacher, and audience. In order to present a faithful account of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century preaching, the chapter engages with three sermons for the same liturgical occasion, all relying on the same pericope. The liturgical occasion of the three sermons is Advent Sunday. The first sermon under examination was written before 1219 by Odo of Cheriton. The second sermon dates to the late thirteenth century, and its sole copy exists in an early fourteenth-century Franciscan collection. The third sermon was written by John Waldeby, an Augustinian friar, for use both on Advent Sunday and on Palm Sunday. The chapter ends with a discussion of the role of liturgy in late medieval sermons: supplying preachers with text, context, and rationale.

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