The Medieval Sermon: Form, History, Theology
Thomas N. Hall, University of Illinois at Chicago
This seminar consisted primarily of a historical survey of sermon literature, in Latin and Western vernaculars, from the late patristic era to the close of the Middle Ages. The emphasis was on formal, rhetorical, and exegetical aspects of the sermon; on the composition and evolution of medieval homiliaries and sermon collections; and on the relationship of the sermon to other medieval literary genres. One class was devoted to the extraordinarily rich genre of medieval Marian sermons and their importance for Marian theology; another was devoted to methods of research in medieval sermons and sermon manuscripts, drawing upon the extensive collections of the Newberry Library. The seminar should prove especially useful for students with interests in medieval rhetoric, in the history of biblical interpretation, in medieval religious imagery, in connections between religion and literature, and in any of the medieval vernaculars in which sermon literature looms large. Requirements, apart from reading, consisted of one bibliographical project and one seminar paper. Most readings were in modern English translation; some will perforce be in French or Italian.
Learn more about Center for Renaissance Studies programs for graduate students.