Cover

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Intimate Scripts in the History of Emotion

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pp. 1-21

At the center of medieval Christian culture, there was a human figure— male, once beautiful, dying on a cross. This book is about the feelings elicited toward that suffering figure through one of the most popular and influential literary genres of the high and later Middle Ages: affective meditations on the ...

PART I: The Origins of an Affective Mode

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1. Compassion and the Making of a True Sponsa Christi

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pp. 25-57

In the quiet, well-lit comfort of the modern British Library, with its clean architectural lines so conducive to attentive study, it is possible to examine a thirteenth-century manuscript made for a group of anchoresses living in the borderlands between England and Wales. Small in size, this manuscript (British Library MS Cotton Titus D.xviii) invites easy handling and use, as befits ...

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2. The Genealogy of a Genre

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pp. 58-85

‘‘How did it happen," ’Emile Male asked in his early and influential study of religious art, ‘‘that, in the fourteenth century, Christians wished to see their God suffer and die? . . . Who had released this gushing spring? Who had thus struck the Church in its very heart? This problem, one of the most interesting presented by the history of Christianity, has never been resolved, nor, to tell ...

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3. Franciscan Meditation Reconsidered

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pp. 86-115

In 1207, after sixteen years spent serving lepers in Liege while begging alms for her sustenance, Marie d’Oignies retired to the priory of Saint-Nicholas at Oignies-sur-Sambre, in what is now Belgium. Fame had become too great a burden: the example she had set, living in poverty because Christ had lived in poverty, serving lepers because she saw Christ in them, had attracted ...

PART II: Performing Compassion in Late Medieval England

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4. Feeling Like a Woman

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pp. 119-149

Around the time the anonymous author in Italy sat down to write the original version of the Meditations, another momentous event took place across the English Channel: Richard Rolle quit his course of study at Oxford and ran off to the woods to become a hermit, wearing a patchwork garment hastily assembled from two of his sister’s dresses. ‘‘My brother’s gone mad,’’ his ...

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5. Marian Lament and the Rise of a Vernacular Ethics

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pp. 150-173

Compassion is not only an emotion but also potentially the foundation for an ethic. The cultivation of compassion in the devotional realm, then, clearly had the potential to effect ethical thinking and behavior on a wider scale, and the rare autobiographical writings that survive from late medieval England reveal that in some cases meditation on the Passion did indeed ...

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6. Kyndenesse and Resistance in the Middle English Passion Lyric

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pp. 174-206

Although ‘‘Come over the burne’’ circulated mostly as a secular song and was printed as such, two allegorized versions survive. The shorter of these appears in the Ritson manuscript (British Library Additional MS 5665), where it is scored for three male voices. The single stanza recorded here lays out the allegorical ...

Notes

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pp. 207-269

Works Cited

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pp. 271-297

Index of Manuscripts

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p. 299

Index

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pp. 300-306

Acknowledgments

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pp. 307-309