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Textus and oath-books
Eyal Poleg

society. But first, a short survey of the uses biblical books were put into will help contextualise this investigation and identify the unexpected books that were employed in churches and courts, as amulets and in graves. Talismanic use of Scripture predates the Middle Ages. The Bible, or part of it, was employed talismanically in customs that date back to biblical times (e.g. Dt 6:8–9). Archaeological findings have unearthed biblical verses that were used as amulets, such as the minute, seventh-century BC silver scrolls of the priestly

in Approaching the Bible in medieval England
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Writing parabolic fiction: Langland’s pardon episode
Mary Raschko

book has investigated how writers diversely constructed a set of narrative scriptures, I wish to conclude by exploring how the poetics of Gospel parables are manifest in original Middle English stories. A robust body of scholarship has examined how Gower, Chaucer, and others adopted and adapted the form of the sermon exemplum to create affective tales that inspired moral reflection and action.1 Parable, I argue, was another influential form of religious storytelling actively explored by late medieval writers, both in their translations of well-known scriptural

in The politics of Middle English parables
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Mairi Cowan

Man of 1558 takes the traditional Catholic position that the Bible requires interpretation by the Church, but also the newer humanist positions that the Church’s authority stems from early councils of the fourth and fifth centuries and that vernacular Scriptures are not to be condemned. 22 Provisions for education in Scottish towns can be difficult to measure. The presence

in Death, life, and religious change in Scottish towns, c.1350–1560
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Fantasies of supersession and explosive questions in the York and Chester Flood plays
Daisy Black

emerges. This is performed as part of the larger pattern of supersession and salvation within Christian historical understanding, which, as Chapter 1 showed, underpinned a typological reading designed to bring Hebrew and Christian scriptures into a single narrative. Yet Noah’s supersessionary perspective appears more absolute than those at work in the N-Town Joseph’s Doubt . While Mary and Noah are both future-oriented, Mary’s supersessionary model hinges on the conviction and conversion of her husband and attempts to assimilate the authority of the Hebrew past into

in Play time
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Three Advent Sunday sermons
Eyal Poleg

elements within the Bible, discussed in Chapter 1 , sheds additional light on this episode and its medieval re-enactment. 1 As evident in Christ’s reliance on Isaiah, it was the authority of the written word that substantiated the spoken act. Christ employed sacred narrative and object to endow his understanding of the present with meaning. Christ’s sermon later became sacred on its own account; canonised as dogma to become part of the New Testament. Much like Christ, preachers preferred to combine authoritative use of Scripture with a certain degree of ingenuity: the

in Approaching the Bible in medieval England
The making and unmaking of an early medieval relic
Julia M. H. Smith

separated the mortal John from the saviour who would follow him. In short, they are an interloper in medieval relic lists, unconnected with the material traces of gospel narratives. Thanks to their mention in Scripture, Jesus shoes had a lively theological existence. Carolingian exegetes could draw on a range of patristic comments, notably one of Gregory the Great’s sermons on the gospels, the views of Augustine on baptism and a commentary on Matthew by an anonymous eighth-century Irishman.45 Augustine also helpfully pointed out that there is no conflict between Matthew

in Religious Franks
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Philippa Byrne

justices. On this account, even in those circumstances, even when royal officers had profound knowledge of scripture, of theology or of the practices of canon law, this had no impact on their attitude to administering common law. 23 Such assumptions should not be accepted uncritically, and it is worth considering – in some detail – the biographies of a number of those administrators. Richard FitzNigel, for example, the son of Henry I’s treasurer, Nigel, Bishop of Ely, was promoted through both royal administrative and ecclesiastical hierarchies

in Justice and mercy
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The Book of Esther in early modern biblical drama
Chanita Goodblatt

Scripture in the Lutheran Reformation’, in Peter Clarke and Charlotte Methuen (eds), The Church and Literature (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2012), pp. 124–33, at p. 124. 18 ‘A New Mery and Wittie Comedie or Enterlude, Newely Imprinted, Treating upon the Historie of Jacob and Esau’, in Paul Whitfield White (ed.), Reformation Biblical Drama in England: The Life of and Repentaunce of Mary Magdalene. The History of Jacob and Esau

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
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A Looking Glasse for London and the Book of Jonah
Hannibal Hamlin

‘hell’ is she’ol , usually an underworld place for the shades of the dead like classical Hades, but figuratively it can also mean a place of exile or state of sin. Since Jonah is actually in the belly of the great fish, the figurative sense is surely most appropriate, yet for Christians ‘hell’ inevitably points to Jonah as proto-Christ. Jonah's three days in the whale prefigure Christ's ‘three dayes, and three nyghtes, in the heart of the earth’, i.e. Hell. In the popular tradition, if not in canonical scripture, this is when Christ harrows Hell, bursting its gates

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
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The parable of the Good Samaritan
Mary Raschko

speakers collaborate to find the exemplary, actionable meanings of scripture.34 The Samaritan story appears in a section of the dialogue where ‘Frend’ teaches ‘Sire’ the positive acts of love that lead to eternal life.35 He begins with the seven bodily works of mercy, which he aligns with ‘þe lawe and þe prophetis’ and enumerates actions enjoined by the injunction to do unto others as you would have them do to you.36 Like Augustine in De doctrina christiana, Frend defines an ethic of love as the centre of all Christian teachings.37 He insists that all the ways in which

in The politics of Middle English parables