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IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 113: Heresy and the Vernacular, I: Translating Orthodoxies

Monday 13 July 2009, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Nils Holger Petersen, Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals, Københavns Universitet
Paper 113-aMeister Eckhart's bilde
(Language: English)
Mariele Nientied, Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Europa Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt an der Oder
Index terms: Language and Literature - German, Philosophy, Sermons and Preaching, Theology
Paper 113-bOn the Origins of the Glossed French Prose Apocalypse
(Language: English)
Clive Sneddon, St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of St Andrews
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 113-cHeresy and Orthodoxy in Medieval Music
(Language: English)
John Douglas Gray, College of Music, University of Colorado at Boulder
Index terms: Manuscripts and Palaeography, Music

This session draws together three papers dealing with the problems presented in different artistic media for discussions of heresy and orthodoxy. The focus here is the issue of translation, whether from one language to another or of discursive formulations into the domain of the visual or the musical.

Paper -a:
When Meister Eckhart was accused of heresy, he had to take a stand on his use of the German bilde: in one of his sermons, Eckhart identifies the human being created after God's image (ad imaginem Dei) with Christ, who alone can be said to be God's image (imago Dei). Under the pressure of the inquisition, Eckhart withdraws his sermon: 'error est, et falsum', he says.
In my paper I discuss the meanings of Eckhart's bilde, covering several Latin terms (imago, exemplar, phantasma, species etc.) in order to argue, that Eckhart could have plausibly defended his sermon.

Paper -b:
A recently published fragment from the Newberry Library Chicago offers the possibility of testing the ideas first put forward by John Lowden about the relationship between the Bible moralisée and the text usually known as the Anglo-Norman Glossed Apocalypse, an early manuscript of which is Paris, BnF, MS fr. 403. A palaeographic and textual study of the Chicago fragment, and of some of the witnesses to an early state of the text, suggests that the earliest state of the text may have been continental, and that it is the family links between Louis IX and Henry III which explain the work's early appearance in England.

Paper -c:
'Heresy and Orthodoxy in Medieval Music' will explore the theme of the 2009 International Medieval Congress as it relates to medieval music history, particularly focusing upon the lifestyles and often radical views of the secular musicians and poets of the Middle Ages:
the goliards, university students, troubadours, and trouveres.

In his celebrated book, The Classical Style, Charles Rosen has written: 'Almost all art is subversive; it attacks established values, and replaces them with those of its own creation; it substitutes its own order for that of society.' (Rosen, page 325). The tension between tradition and freedom, between 'orthodoxy' and 'heresy', constitutes the very core of Western music history on numerous levels.
That tension rings with particular vibrance as it applies to the history of medieval music.