Christianity and Romance in Medieval England
Boydell & Brewer, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 204 pages
The relationship between the Christianity of medieval culture and its most characteristic narrative, the romance, is complex and the modern reading of it is too often confused. Not only can it be difficult to negotiate the distant, sometimes alien concepts of religious cultures of past centuries in a modern, secular, multi-cultural society, but there is no straightforward Christian context of Middle English romance - or of medieval romance in general, although this volume focuses on the romances of England. Medieval audiences had apparently very different expectations and demands of their entertainment: some looking for, and evidently finding, moral exempla and analogues of biblical narratives, others secular, even sensational, entertainment of a type condemned by moralising voices. BR> The essays collected here show how the romances of medieval England engage with its Christian culture. Topics include the handling of material from pre-Christian cultures, classical and Celtic, the effect of the Crusades, the meaning of chivalry, and the place of women in pious romances. Case studies, including Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Malory's Morte Darthur, offer new readings and ideas for teaching romance to contemporary students. Thtey do not present a single view of a complex situation, but demonstrate the importance of reading romances with an awareness of the knowledge and cultural capital represented by Christianity for its original writers and audiences. Contributors: HELEN PHILLIPS, STEPHEN KNIGHT, PHILLIPA HARDMAN, MARIANNE AILES, RALUCA L. RADULESCU, CORINNE SAUNDERS, K.S. WHETTER, ANDREA HOPKINS, ROSALIND FIELD, DEREK BREWER, D. THOMAS HANKS, MICHELLE SWEENEY
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adventures Anglo-Norman argue Arthur Arthurian Athelston audience Boeve Breton Cambridge century chanson de geste Charlemagne Chaucer chivalry Chrétien Chrétien de Troyes Church Cligés condemned confession context courtly critics crusading Culhwch ac Olwen culture death demons discussion divine earthly EETS Emaré essay example female feudal Fierabras French Gawain-poet genre God’s Grail Green Knight Guinevere Guy of Warwick Guy’s hero heroines Holy ideals Isumbras Kaeuper king knighthood knightly lady Lancelot learning Legend literary Literature London lovers Malory Malory’s Morte Darthur manuscript marriage medieval Christian medieval romance Middle Ages Middle English Romances modern moral motifs narrative natural magic nigromancy Oxford pagan passion penance pentangle poem poet popular prowess readers reading religious Richard Roland Rome saints Saracen secular sins Sir Gawain Sir Gowther Sir Orfeo South English Legendary St Katherine stanzaic Morte story teaching theme tion tradition Troilus virgin martyrs Welsh women ŝat