IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 232: Rules of the Heart, the Tongue, and the Pulpit in Piers Plowman

Monday 9 July 2012, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Gail Lesley Blick, Independent Scholar, Monmouth
Moderator/Chair:David John Young, Independent Scholar, Leicester
Paper 232-aDiseases of the Heart in Piers Plowman
(Language: English)
Rosanne Gasse, Department of English, Brandon University, Manitoba
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Medicine, Religious Life
Paper 232-b'Reule thy tonge euere': Langland and the Body's Small but Unruly Member
(Language: English)
Gail Lesley Blick, Independent Scholar, Monmouth
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English, Religious Life
Paper 232-cNarrative and Identification in Piers Plowman and Some Late Medieval Sermons
(Language: English)
Alastair Bennett, Department of English & Language Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Religious Life, Sermons and Preaching

This session examines Langland’s Piers Plowman in the context of late medieval religious culture. The first paper explores the imagery of the diseased and sinful heart in Piers, transformed into a positive image through association with the wounded heart of Christ. The second considers the tension between Reason’s demand for obedience and the difficulty of ruling the disobedient tongue. The third examines Langland’s critique of preaching rhetoric, and the narratives that sermons offered to people as a template for their own experiences. The papers share a common interest in how external factors like the imagery of the heart, objective reason and the injunctions of the pulpit could come to be internalised, and in how the poem reimagines the paradigms and rules that they offer.