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Laura Varnam

pronouncement. Liturgical language and scriptural quotations are a fundamental part of the consecration ceremony. The church becomes a matrix of the sacred word which strengthens the material fabric and provides resources for its symbolic interpretation. As Durandus states, the church is ‘walled with the fortifications of the scripture’.69 The symbolic significance of Jerusalem is crucial to the consecration of sacred space because not only is the church the house of God on earth, it is also the gate of heaven (Genesis, 28.17). ‘Jerusalem’ signifies both the terrestrial and

in The church as sacred space in Middle English literature and culture
The parable of the Prodigal Son
Mary Raschko

particular sins.7 Reconciliation with God, these materials suggested, was an extended and intricate process. The Gospel parable, in contrast, includes neither the vocabulary typical of penitential literature nor the ecclesiastical 66 The politics of Middle English parables structures through which late medieval Christians sought to atone for their sins. We might expect that for some, such as the Wycliffite writers who insisted that scripture should be the foundation of all Christian living, sacramental rituals may appear extra-scriptural, unnecessary, or even corrupt

in The politics of Middle English parables
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Eyal Poleg

Europe it was the cost of manuscripts, degrees of literacy, or social boundaries that determined people’s access to the Christian Scripture. Devoid of close contact with the biblical text, the majority of men and women experienced the Bible through a carefully structured array of rituals and images, sermons and chants. These media are at the core of this book as it follows the ways the Bible was sung and preached, revered and studied in medieval England; as it traces how the Bible was mediated and known across the social and cultural boundaries of literacy and piety

in Approaching the Bible in medieval England
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What God was doing before he created the world
Daisy Black

speaker from whom he might demand answers. In imagining clasping Moses, Augustine becomes an urgent audience member, concentrating his ears and begging him to explain his scripture. Yet at the same time, Augustine recognises the impossibility of his imaginative act of desire. Separated from creation and scripture by the passage of time, he can only approach the mysteries of creation through the less visceral processes of oral and written narrative transmission and translation. Even if he were able to bring a figure from the Hebrew past to speak in his presence

in Play time
Linear time and Jewish conversion in the N-Town plays
Daisy Black

course know that he is due to be cuckolded, albeit by God. They also know Joseph’s position in biblical history will work against his desire for a quiet married life. Joseph’s appeal to his audience’s shared knowledge of secular and scriptural narratives therefore suggests that his character was carefully constructed to solicit both sympathy and laughter. Bringing scripture and medieval marital conflicts into co-existence, N-Town imagines a Joseph whose perspectives on marriage are informed by contemporary comic literature. Joseph’s awareness of his own

in Play time
Biblical plays between Czech drama and English comedy in early modern Central Europe
Pavel Drábek

.) These are the words of Adam Tesák Brodský at the beginning of his father Juraj Tesák Mošovský's Comedy from a Book of God's Testament Named Ruth ( Komedie z Kníhy Zákona Božího, jenž slove Ruth ; Ruth 1604), printed in Prague in 1604. What is more, Tesák Brodský admonishes that ‘nadto nesluší těmi, kteréž ex fontibus Israel, to jest, z studnic Písem svatých jsou sebrané, pohrdati’ (‘above all, it is unbeholding to scorn those comedies that are composed ex fontibus Israel , that is, from the springs of the Holy Scriptures’, A2r). 1

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
Philippa Byrne

, though it might be laudable, was not always essential. Secondly, it works to examine what ‘mercy’ meant when translated into action. One could lump many different types of behaviour under the name of misericordia . But even the mercy recommended by scripture could be broken down into different actions, of varying ‘strengths’ – mercy could be made more potent or more dilute. Moreover, if the divine promise (or divine threat) was that no one who judged without mercy would receive mercy from God, working out exactly what ‘mercy’ entailed in practice was vital to

in Justice and mercy
John Heywood’s The Pardoner and the Friar
Greg Walker

figure than the venal friars satirised by Chaucer. Yet Heywood does not venture beyond such hints. His engagement with the real issues at stake in the doctrinal disputes of the period is superficial at best. And even his use of the biblical text is limited. For his point proves to be that the Friar's teaching is actually not as rooted in the Scriptures as he claims; his evangelism is merely a pose. Hence this Reformer says nothing about the nature of Justification or about the mass or Real Presence; he makes no objection to the ‘idolatry’ of saint worship, the use of

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
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The spectator’s God’s-eye view
Daisy Black

eternal time, in which all moments in Jewish and Christian history are simultaneously ‘true’ of their playing space, and the sequential time enacted by the figures represented in the performance. Their knowledge of the past (scriptures) would have informed their knowledge of the ‘present’ performance’s ending, or ‘future’. Yet while possessing foreknowledge of the choices the represented dramatic personae would make, the audience was limited in their ability to influence those choices. Even if a spectator were to shout out a warning, Eve would still eat the apple

in Play time
The schools
Philippa Byrne

only means of describing or explaining the nature of justice. Indeed, in many ways it was lacking, because – as Christian theologians had long recognised – referring to justice as a matter of strictly calculated due failed to capture one of the ideas frequently emphasised and endorsed by scripture: that justice and mercy were tied together, and that misericordia either represented an important constitutive part of justice, or was in some way a principle capable of overriding justice. 19 Scripture argued for an understanding of justice which

in Justice and mercy