By Nicole R. Rice
In late-fourteenth-century England, the continual query of the way to dwell the easiest lifestyles preoccupied many pious Christians. One solution was once supplied by way of a brand new style of prose courses that tailored specialist non secular ideas and workouts for lay audiences. those texts engaged with a number of the similar cultural questions as poets like Langland and Chaucer; in spite of the fact that, they've got now not obtained the serious cognizance they deserve beforehand. Nicole Rice analyses how the assumption of spiritual self-discipline was once translated into various literary kinds in an environment of spiritual swap and controversy. through contemplating the subjects of non secular self-discipline, spiritual id, and orthodoxy in Langland and Chaucer, the examine additionally brings clean views to undergo on Piers Plowman and The Canterbury stories. This juxtaposition of religious counsel and poetry will shape a massive contribution to our realizing of either authors and of overdue medieval spiritual perform and notion.
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Extra info for Cambridge Lay Piety And Religious Discipline In Middle English Literature
Lord, hurry to my aid” (“Domine, labia mea aperies et os meum annunciabit laudem tuam. Introduction Deus in adiutorium meum intende. Domine ad adiuvandum me festina”). This phrase evidently became a kind of emblem for lay devotional reading. By the mid-fourteenth century, a growing body of Middle English didactic works had begun to supplement the devotions of the book of hours, defining the requirements of the active penitential life for a broader reading population. ” This encyclopedic work, which has been called the most popular English medieval poem based on its survival in over manuscripts, not only teaches the basics of catechism through narrative but also explicitly views pious laity as deserving of their own system of religious discipline.
Lay individuals may have founded chantries and supported stipendiary priests primarily for the sake of securing their own immortal souls, but these priests also contributed to meeting liturgical needs and pastoral demands that had developed in the wake of the plague. ” Founding a chantry often meant taking an active role in supporting liturgical practice. Chantry foundation and the support of stipendiary priests also enabled laity to superintend and participate vicariously in other clerical functions with wider effects on the surrounding community.
Also he þat haþ þis loue wol nat wreþe God enytime, for to haue al þe world witouten ende, but raþer suffre al þe peine þat mi t come to any creature þan onis willfulliche displese his God, in þo t or in dede. Even with a degree of remove, this love is potentially dangerous, “so feruent” that it requires a carefully penitential orientation.