IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 1013: Using Emotions in Chronicles and Sermons

Wednesday 12 July 2006, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Felicitas Schmieder, Historisches Institut, FernUniversität Hagen
Paper 1013-aEnvy and Jealousy in Gregory of Tours' Decem libri historiarum
(Language: English)
Oliver Salten, Historisches Seminar, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities, Social History
Paper 1013-bIn between Emotion and Ritual: Investigating Sources of Baltic History
(Language: English)
Daiva Vaitkeviciene, Institute of Lithuanian Literature & Folklore, Vilnius
Index terms: Anthropology, Folk Studies, Language and Literature - Other, Pagan Religions
Paper 1013-cCautionary Tales: The Homiletics of Crusade Preaching in 14th-Century England
(Language: English)
Timothy Guard, Hertford College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Crusades, Sermons and Preaching

Abstract paper -a: When Gregory of Tours describes ‘bad persons’, he often emphasizes greed as one of their main traits. Surprisingly, not much occupation has been established with the emotional concomitants of greed – envy, jealousy, and resentment. In this lecture it shall be surveyed which rank Gregory assigns to envy, if it only appears together with the sin of greed or also has its own place in his work, if he assigns a function to it which could be interpreted as constructive, not just destructive, and which persons are described as being envious and jealous.

Abstract paper -b: Rituals of a community are closely related to emotional expression – the general emotional state consolidates the community and enables it to perform the ritual undivertedly. Rituals that were constructed on the emotional basis are noticed in the chronicles (13th-15th century) of battles between Baltic tribes and Teutonic order. Some of them account on sonic (voice) expression – these are ceremonial military slogans and mourn for the dead. The dominant expression in other rituals is gesture: greeted by shaking the other person’s hand, ritual drinking, etc. During the ceremonies such actions had emotional ground and meant religious pledge.

Abstract paper -c: It is not often noted in textbook surveys, but over 15 crusade projects were publicised in England during the 14th century. That is on average, once every six years, or so. Introducing a little-known model crusade sermon composed c. 1340 (BL. MS. Royal 7.IV. fol. 110r-114r), this paper shows how crusade preachers marketed the crusade idea in late-medieval England. It is shown how preachers hedged their polemic with arguments drawn from a range of ecclesiastical and literary sources; and how, utilizing the dynamic elements of ‘live’ public speaking (including formal exempla, humorous anecdote, repetitive slogan, etc.), the sermoniser sought to engineer a particular emotional response, and, ultimately, to elicit the supreme pentitential gesture and commitment to action: the taking of the Cross. Of additional interest is the preacher’s careful integration of crusade exhortation with a wider program of ethical instruction and evangelism. Here the well-worn stories and excitatoria of the 14th-century crusade propagandist furnished the homilist with a ready template for teaching the widest range of moral lessons and Christian standards. Addressed primarily to historians of the later crusades, the paper holds value for students of sermon literature, and of late-medieval English society.