Friars Tales Sermon Exempla from the British Isles, by Jones, David
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- ISBN: 9780719084249 | 0719084245
- Cover: Hardcover
- Copyright: 3/1/2011
Exempla are illustrative stories used by preachers to seize the attention of their congregations and to drive home a moral lesson. This book presents annotated translations from two collections of exempla, one Franciscan and one Dominican, put together in England / Ireland c.1275. The two collections used are important because they are amongst the earliest to survive from the British Isles. The 270 exempla translated here cover a wide range of topics, both ecclesiastical and secular and offer vivid insights into medieval life and attitudes in the broadest sense. Moreover, because exempla had to be plausible in order to convince, they are an important source for the beliefs and attitudes of the laity at a period when this is often undocumented. The importance of exempla as historical evidence has long been appreciated, especially on the Continent. However, despite the plethora of surviving material, little of it has been available in annotated English translation. It is hoped that this volume will go some way to filling that gap. An introduction discusses place of preaching in the medieval church, the development of preaching aids and the exemplum genre, the main topics covered by the exempla, the dating of the two collections translated and the use which the compilers made of their material and how far exempla can be relied upon as historical evidence.