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Popular mercy in a vengeance culture
Philippa Byrne

striking about this sermon, however, is the way in which each of the daughters attempts to persuade God to follow their counsel: they appeal to scripture. In itself, this results in the rather entertaining spectacle of Truth quoting back the Ten Commandments to their author, reminding God the Father of his Old Testament undertaking to punish the children for the sins of their parents (Exodus xx.5). 22 Scripture is used as a means of reminding or informing God of what his judicial nature should be: that is, God himself must abide by the principle that the Lord does not

in Justice and mercy
Elisabeth Dutton

, John Bale (1538–89) chooses to portray on stage the whole of human history divided by period – the time of Natural Law, the time of the Law of Moses, and the time of the Law of Christ. 3 Christ's Law represents the written Bible, itself a continuation and confirmation of the purity of natural teaching; the Scriptures taken as a whole are seen to subsume the role of Moses within them. So time in Bale's play is more complicated than simply one age succeeding another. The first scene shows all of the laws together

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
Paul Whitfield White

, including ‘The Play of Protestancyon’ that features two allegorical figures called ‘the Wormes of Conscience’. No surviving documentation reveals local opposition to the biblical pageants. At Chester, the Late Banns, presented on St George's Day before the midsummer 1575 performance, introduce the Whitsun plays as fully Protestantised. Their remarkably robust defence of staging the Scriptures – including the Passion of Christ – offers a unique contribution to the emerging Protestant debate in England over the propriety of staging the Bible, already

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
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Eyal Poleg

. The messianic undertones at the public performance of the first station of Palm Sunday were similar to those of glosses to Isaiah. The sensory experience of waiting for Christ in a graveyard nevertheless differed considerably from that of the Glossa ordinaria . The explicit fascination of exegetes with allegorical interpretation and their engagement with the literal sense of Scripture was an academic pursuit and an intellectual engagement. The laity, on the other hand, physically re-lived that biblical moment. At times the two worlds came into conflict. An argument

in Approaching the Bible in medieval England
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Chanita Goodblatt and Eva von Contzen

scene in juxtaposition with significant manuscript and stone images, thereby underlining how it intersects with evolving traditions of the biblical stage as it absorbs and reflects varied historical, political, religious, and transnational influences. Cathy Shrank's chapter also bridges the two periods by considering the impact of citing scripture in fifteenth-century English morality drama. She studies its evolution from a genre that focuses on the psychomachia of the individual human soul to one that maps a struggle for the soul of the nation. Furthermore, Shrank

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
From self-representation to episcopal model. The case of the eloquent bishops Ambrose of Milan and Gregory the Great
Giorgia Vocino

responsibilities which priesthood has brought us, for ‘God gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, others evangelists, and yet others pastors and teachers’ … My wish is only to attain to the attention and diligence towards the divine Scriptures which the apostle ranked last of all among the duties of the saints … I was snatched into the priesthood from a life spent at tribunals and amidst the paraphernalia of administrative office, and I began to teach you things I had not learnt myself. The result was that I started to teach before I had started to learn. With me, then

in Religious Franks
Eyal Poleg

well as that of President Obama) all show these books being employed as relics from a glorified past, in whose authority those present wished to share. In late medieval England such Gospel books were becoming an archaic remnant. While they were used in liturgy and ritual, another type of Bible emerged. Adhering to a revolutionary paratext, these new full Bibles (or pandects) became a standard for Scripture, replicated in Bibles in manuscript and printed forms for centuries to come. A far cry from silver gilt and jewelled bindings of earlier texts, these were mundane

in Approaching the Bible in medieval England
The parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard
Mary Raschko

‘poynt determynable’, and it asserts that God rewards all according to their merit.3 If a story can call this precept into question, he worries, it stands to challenge Christian belief more broadly, rendering scripture ‘bot a fable.’ The retelling that inspires such anxiety is based on one of the socalled ‘parables of the Kingdom’ that populate Matthew’s Gospel. With the Vineyard story, Jesus likens heavenly reward to payment for agricultural work, endowing the ordinary, earthly situation of harvest with extraordinary, divine significance. The parable begins with the

in The politics of Middle English parables
The parable of Dives and Lazarus
Mary Raschko

first refuses Dives in Confessio Amantis on the grounds that ‘his brethren mihten knowe and hiere / of Moises on erthe hiere / And of prophetes othre mo, / What hem was best’ (6.1091–4).77 In other words, knowledge of the teachings of Old Testament scripture – the law of Moses and the prophecies that show the advent of Christ – should suffice for salvation.78 Gower’s Abraham continues, however, to refer to the primary means by which lay Christians would know biblical teachings: For if thei nou wol noght obeie To suche as techen hem the weie, And alday preche and alday

in The politics of Middle English parables
Philippa Byrne

history of judgment and judicial biographies that stretched all the way back to the books of the Old Testament. Those judges too had made their own determinations when faced with a choice between just and merciful courses of action. If, for example, a judge confronted with the tricky job of punishing a faithless subordinate could see in his own situation a parallel with the struggle faced by Moses, he might then begin to understand how to punish both virtuously and justly. This chapter seeks to trace out those judicial exempla , derived from both scripture and

in Justice and mercy