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The Art of Preaching

Siegfried Wenzel

Publication Year: 2013

Based on his wide-ranging knowledge of late-medieval Latin sermons from England as well as his editorial experience with medieval Latin texts, Siegfried Wenzel offers critical editions of five instruction manuals on the "art of preaching" dating from 1230 to the fifteenth century. Four of the texts are edited and translated for the first time; the fifth is re-edited from all extant manuscripts. Each of the five sermons is accompanied by a facing-page translation into English. The book aims to stimulate interest and new research in a field that still awaits closer analysis of the relationships among existing treatises and of their historical development.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-7

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pp. vii-viii

In presenting five medieval works dealing with the art of preaching I have wanted to make available several treatises of a genre that has attracted far too little attention. of the roughly two hundred forty artes praedicandi known to exist, only two dozen, or 10 percent, have been edited, and many of them without a translation. To increase this small ...


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-19

All human activities that require skill and a certain know-how sooner or later beget technical manuals that, at whatever level, provide in-struction on how to do things, from the Sabiston Textbook of Surgery to The Joy of Cooking and Seven Weeks to Better Sex. So it is also with ready been the work of Jesus and his apostles, and it continued as a ...

Texts and Translations

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pp. 1-21

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I. Jacobus de Fusignano

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pp. 3-96

Fusignano was a Dominican friar of the Roman province, who held various offices in his order during the 1280s and 1290s and ended his life as bishop of Mothon in 1333.1 His Libellus artis predicatorie (or similar titles; Caplan 115 and 220; Caplan Suppl 115) enjoyed much popularity: it survives in more than twenty manuscripts, including one of English provenance (O), and was included...

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II. Quamvis

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pp. 97-144

This and the next two works are anonymous. All three appear together in sequence in two manuscripts from England, where only the first has been noticed by previous scholars. That they are in fact different and separate works is clear from their preservation as individual treatises elsewhere, as well as from differences in overall conception, style, and even vocabulary...

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III. Hic Docet

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pp. 145-162

The unknown author of this short treatise begins by distinguishing a collatio from a sermo and then announces that he will treat four main features of a collatio: (I) the introduction of the thema, (II) its division, (III) the subdivision, and (IV) the use of proof texts to confirm the proposed meaning. These topics are dealt with by other artes praedicandi as well, but in comparison with the...

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IV. Vade in Domum

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pp. 163-188

The opening sentence of Vade, quoting Matthew 9:6, introduces the image of a house, whose parts—foundation, walls, entrance door (with threshold, opening, key, and lock), windows, window panes, and roof—are then systematically applied to the standard six parts of a sermon. In its style and thought...

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V. Jean de la Rochelle

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pp. 189-240

Rochelle, a French Franciscan and Paris master (died 1245), closely associated with Alexander of Hales, wrote a number of important theological works.1 A Processus negociandi themata sermonum, beginning “Cum plures sint modi negociandi circa themata” (Caplan 31 and Suppl 31), is ascribed to him in manuscript P. It presupposes its readers’ knowledge of the parts of a scholastic...

Appendices & Indexes

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pp. 241-261

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A. Reflections on Artes Praedicandi

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pp. 243-245

The edited texts draw attention to several major features of medieval sermon making as it was taught in the artes praedicandi. First is their insistence on, their preoccupation with, the biblical text. All f_ive works—and indeed ev-ery ars praedicandi—declare that the scholastic sermon is to be built on a short text, and that this text is to be chosen from Scripture. This is precisely ...

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B. The Life and Transmission of Late-Medieval Artes Praedicandi

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pp. 246-249

The text of Quamvis, its appearance in various forms and manuscripts, and be-yond this the manuscripts used for the texts here edited, furnish a limited yet signif_icant amount of data that yield some insights into the “life” of artes praedi-As noted in the introduction, Quamvis has been preserved in four manu-scripts (L, A, o, and U). It also exists in an abbreviated form (G) and in addition ...

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C. Quamvis and Ranulph Higden

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pp. 250-255

Comparison of Quamvis and Higden’s Ars componendi sermones reveals a hith-erto unacknowledged source of the latter and establishes that Quamvis itself must have been composed before 134zero.oldstyle. That the two works are somehow related is suggested at once by the fact that both use the biblical passage Habitabit iuve-nis cum virgine in their illustrations. Although a particular biblical text may ...

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D. Modern Editions and Translations of Artes Praedicandi

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pp. 256-260

In general, the section “Ars praedicandi” in James J. murphy, Rhetoric in the Middle Ages: A History of Rhetorical Theory from Saint Augustine to the Renais-sance (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 19seven.oldstyle4), two.oldstylesix.oldstyle9–3five.oldstylefive.oldstyle, contains many helpful and of_ten detailed summaries, as does Dorothea Roth, Die mittelalterliche Predigttheorie und das “Manuale Curatorum” des Johann ...

Index of Biblical Quotations

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pp. 261-280

General Index

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pp. 262-268

Production Notes

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pp. 269-288

E-ISBN-13: 9780813221380
E-ISBN-10: 0813221382
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813221373
Print-ISBN-10: 0813221374

Page Count: 287
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Preaching.
  • Rhetoric, Medieval.
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