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Late Medieval Religiosity in England: The Evidence of Late Fourteenth and Fifteenth Century Devotional Compilations

English title Late Medieval Religiosity in England: The Evidence of Late Fourteenth and Fifteenth Century Devotional Compilations
Applicant Renevey Denis
Number 146071
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Section d'anglais Faculté des lettres Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline German and English languages and literature
Start/End 01.09.2013 - 31.03.2017
Approved amount 558'649.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
German and English languages and literature
Religious studies, Theology
Psychology

Keywords (5)

compilation; late medieval culture; devotion; vernacular theology; religious literary activity

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
L'activité de la compilation médiévale a donné lieu à une production considérable de textes religieux en langue vernaculaire. Ces textes, peu accessibles et donc très peu étudiés, participent pourtant à la construction de la mentalité religieuse et culturelle d'une époque charnière en Angleterre médiévale.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

Le travail de recherche porte sur une étude de compilations dévotionelles, c'est à dire des œuvres composées de textes disparates ayant pour intention d'inviter les lecteurs à développer une relation personnelle avec le divin à un degré avancé. Les techniques de composition des compilateurs de plusieurs oeuvres écrites en anglais médiéval font l'objet d'une analyse très pointue.

La recherche vise à comprendre, notamment, les décisions des compilateurs quant au choix des textes et les décisions qui les amènent à retravailler les textes de base, soit en les abrégeant, en modifiant le style et le vocabulaire, ou encore en ajoutant des parties plus ou moins importantes afin de satisfaire les besoins et les  nouvelles sensibilités religieuses des lecteurs de la fin du quatorzième et du début du quinzième siècle.

Contexte scientifique et culturel du projet

Le projet considère l'activité des compilateurs de plusieurs textes dont la popularité au Moyen Age tardif anglais est incontestée. Les données scientifiques, qui seront disponibles sur une banque de données électroniques, permettent d'apporter une lumière nouvelle sur la pratique religieuse du Moyen Age tardif en Angleterre.

Mots-clés

devotional compilation, late medieval religiosity, religious culture


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 24.07.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
‘“Ȝe han desired to knowe in comfort of ȝoure soule”: Female Agency in The Chastising of God’s Children’
Cré Marleen (2016), ‘“Ȝe han desired to knowe in comfort of ȝoure soule”: Female Agency in The Chastising of God’s Children’, in Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures , 42(2), 164-180.
‘The Mirror of Simple Souls in Middle English Revisited: The Translator and The Compiler’
Cré Marleen (2014), ‘The Mirror of Simple Souls in Middle English Revisited: The Translator and The Compiler’, in Field Sean L, Lerner Robert, Piron Sylvain (ed.), Vrin, Paris, 249-262.
‘An Introduction to Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Don. e. 247’
Cré Marleen (with Raphaela Rohrhofer), ‘An Introduction to Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Don. e. 247’, in Journal of the English Book Society.
‘Desyrable is thi Name’: Fashioning the Name of Jesus in Some Devotional Compilations
Renevey Denis, ‘Desyrable is thi Name’: Fashioning the Name of Jesus in Some Devotional Compilations, in Cré Marleen Denissen Diana, Renevey Denis (eds) (ed.), Brepols, Turnhout.
‘Miscellaneity, Compiling Strategies and the Transmission of The Chastising of God’s Children and The Holy Boke Gratia Dei’
Cré Marleen, ‘Miscellaneity, Compiling Strategies and the Transmission of The Chastising of God’s Children and The Holy Boke Gratia Dei’, in Corbellini S., Murano G., Signore G. (ed.), Brepols, Turnhout.
‘This tretice, by me compiled’: Late Medieval Devotional Compilations in England
Cré Marleen, Denissen Diana, Renevey Denis (eds), ‘This tretice, by me compiled’: Late Medieval Devotional Compilations in England, Brepols, Turnhout.
A Pystille Made to a Cristene Frende: A Translation of Walter Hilton’s Epistola ad Quemdam Seculo Renunciare Volentem in a Northern Anthology
Cré Marleen, A Pystille Made to a Cristene Frende: A Translation of Walter Hilton’s Epistola ad Quemdam Seculo Renunciare Volentem in a Northern Anthology, in Auer Anita, Renevey Denis, Marshall Camille, Oudesluijs Tino (ed.), University of Wales Press, Cardiff.
Compilers’ Voices in Cambridge, University Library MS Ii. 6. 40
Cré Marleen, Compilers’ Voices in Cambridge, University Library MS Ii. 6. 40, in Cré Marleen Denissen Diana, Renevey Denis (eds) (ed.), Brepols, Turnhout.
Emotional Response in A Talkyng of the Love of God and The Tretyse of
Denissen Diana, Emotional Response in A Talkyng of the Love of God and The Tretyse of, in Flannery Mary (ed.), Brepols, Turnhout.
Form and Fluidity: Reshaping The Pore Caitif and Contemplations of the Dread and Love of God in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 423 and Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 938
Denissen Diana, Form and Fluidity: Reshaping The Pore Caitif and Contemplations of the Dread and Love of God in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 423 and Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 938, in Cré Marleen, Denissen Diana, Renevey Denis (ed.), Brepols, Turnhout.
Northern Spirituality Travels South: The Case of Richard Rolle’s Oleum Effusum
Renevey Denis, Northern Spirituality Travels South: The Case of Richard Rolle’s Oleum Effusum, in Auer Anita, Renevey Denis, Marshall Camille, Oudesluijs Tino (ed.), University of Wales Press, Cardiff.
The Anchoress Transformed: On wel swuðe god ureisun of God almihti and þe wohunge of ure lauerd in the Fourteenth-Century A Talkyng of the Love of God
Denissen Diana, The Anchoress Transformed: On wel swuðe god ureisun of God almihti and þe wohunge of ure lauerd in the Fourteenth-Century A Talkyng of the Love of God, in Herbert-McAvoy Liz, Gunn Cate (ed.), Boydell and Brewer, Cambridge.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Vincent Gillespie, J.R.R. Tolkien professor of English language and literature Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Exploring the Middle Ages (500-1600) Talk given at a conference ‘Looking towards the Future: Late Medieval Devotional Compilations, Now and Then’ 25.11.2016 University of Bergen, Norway Renevey Denis;
Women’s Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon - Leverhulme Trust Project Talk given at a conference ‘Female Textual Subjectivity in Disce Mori’ 26.07.2016 Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies, Boston University , United States of America Renevey Denis; Cré Marleen;
COST Working Group 2 workshop, ‘Religious Practices and Everyday Life (1350-1570) Talk given at a conference ‘”Desyrable is thi name”: Fashioning the Name of Jesus in Some Devotional Compilations 22.03.2016 University of Lisbon, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Renevey Denis;
Ruusbroec Institute Individual talk ‘Devotionele Compilaties in laat-middeleeuws Engeland: de lezende auteur en de schrijvende lezer’ (Devotional Compilations in Late Medieval England: the Reading Author and the Writing Reader)' 18.03.2016 University of Antwerp, Belgium Cré Marleen;
Women and the Canon Conference Talk given at a conference ‘ « she shalle ber a sonne þat ye shalle calle Ihesu »: Eleanor Hull and the Tradition of the Devotion to the Name of Jesus’ 22.01.2016 University of Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Renevey Denis;
Medieval English Research Seminar Individual talk ‘Multiplicacion of many bokes’: Devotional Compilations and Religiosity in Late-Fourteenth and Fifteenth Century England’ 18.11.2015 University of Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Denissen Diana; Cré Marleen;
Guest lecture, English Department and Institute of Theology, The Queen's University Individual talk ‘ « she shalle ber a sonne þat ye shalle calle Ihesu »: Eleanor Hull and the Tradition of the Devotion to the Name of Jesus’ 29.10.2015 Belfast, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Renevey Denis;
CEMEP workshop Pratiques Alimentaires Talk given at a conference 'Mastications sacrées et le Nom de Jésus.' 23.10.2015 University of Lausanne, Switzerland Renevey Denis;
Religious Transformation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Bridging the chronological, linguistic, confessional and cultural divides (1350-1570) Talk given at a conference ‘She shall here a sonne that ye shall calle Ihesu: Eleonor Hull and the Tradition of the Devotion to the Name of Jesus';Late Medieval Devotional Compilations and their Manuscript Contexts: The Chastising of God’s Children in London, British Library, MS Ad 15.10.2015 Tours, France Renevey Denis; Cré Marleen;
Medicine of Words: Literature, Medicine and Theology in the Middle Ages Talk given at a conference ‘”In myn ere heuenly sown”: The Healing Power of the Name of Jesus’ 11.09.2015 University of Oxford, St Anne's College, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Renevey Denis;
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the North of England in the Later Middle Ages Talk given at a conference ‘Northern Spirituality Travels South: the Case of Richard Rolle’s Oleum Effusum’;‘A Pystille Made to a Cristene Frende: A Translation of Walter Hilton’s Epistola ad Quemdam Seculo Renunciare Volentem in a Northern Anthology (London, British Library, MS A 07.09.2015 University of Lausanne, Switzerland Cré Marleen; Renevey Denis;
Women’s Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon - Leverhulme Trust Project Talk given at a conference ‘ « she shalle ber a sonne þat ye shalle calle Ihesu »: Eleanor Hull and the Tradition of the Devotion to the Name of Jesus’ 20.07.2015 Chawton House Library, Chawton, Hampshire, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Renevey Denis;
International Medieval Congress Talk given at a conference 'Compiling Styles and Textual Renewal: Non-Linear Borrowing Patterns in Devotional Compilations'; 'Rolle's Oleum Effusum Nomen Tuum in Late Medieval Devotional Compilations'; 'From Source to Compilation and Surviving Manuscripts: Fragments from Aelred of 06.07.2015 Leeds, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Cré Marleen; Renevey Denis; Denissen Diana;
Lecture Individual talk ‘Douz noun Jhesu, fai que te chante’: John of Howden and the Devotion to the Name of Jesus’ 01.07.2015 University of Cambridge, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Renevey Denis;
Emotions and Medieval Media Talk given at a conference ‘Sweetness and the Power of Affectivity in Some Anglo-Norman and Middle English Lyrics’; ‘Pain, Pleasure and Performance: Public and Private Display Before Christ Portrayed’; ”But seeth now what ioie cometh”: Feelings in (the Manuscripts of) The Chastising 19.06.2015 University of Lausanne, Switzerland Cré Marleen; Denissen Diana; Renevey Denis;
Research Materials: a Work-In-Progress Group on Manuscripts and Textual Transmission in the Middle Ages, Talk given at a conference ‘The Middle English Pore Caitif and its Manuscript Contexts’ 20.05.2015 University of Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Denissen Diana;
‘My Favorite Things: Patterns of Construction and Perception in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period' Talk given at a conference ‘The Religious Materiality of the Name of Jesus’ 11.12.2014 University of Salzburg, Austria Renevey Denis;
Annual Conference of the Belgian Association of Anglicists in Higher Education Talk given at a conference ‘”The kalender either the table”: design and use of a database as a research tool (and more?) when researching late Middle English Devotional Compilations’ 28.11.2014 University of Antwerp, Belgium Cré Marleen;
E-Cost Meeting ‘Focusing on the page/book periphery: What do marginalia, marks of ownership and other textual accretions tell us? Talk given at a conference Devotional Compilations 23.10.2014 Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris, France Renevey Denis;
‘Vie de saint(e)s, compilations dévotionelles et piété affective dans l’Europe médiévale (1215-1538)' Talk given at a conference 'Late Medieval Devotional Compilations';‘Exemplary Saints in two Late medieval English Compilations: The Chastising of God’s Children and The Holy Boke Gratia Dei'; ‘Pseudo-sanctity and Authority: The Case of Richard Rolle (c. 1300-1349)’ 21.10.2014 University of Lausanne, Switzerland Cré Marleen; Denissen Diana; Renevey Denis;
Doctoral Workshop on Medieval and Early Modern English Studies Talk given at a conference Presentation of SNSF Project 15.10.2014 University of Geneva, Switzerland Cré Marleen; Renevey Denis; Denissen Diana;
Late Medieval Manuscript Miscellanies Academy Colloquium, Talk given at a conference “Compiling Strategies and Miscellaneity in The Chastising of God’s Children and The Holy Boke Gratia Dei” 03.10.2014 Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science, Amsterdam, Netherlands Cré Marleen;
Fifth Doctoral School Institute for Medieval Studies Talk given at a conference Presentation of Doctoral Project 01.09.2014 Fribourg, Switzerland Denissen Diana;
Nuns Literacies, the Annual Conference of the History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland (H-WRBI) Talk given at a conference “Late Medieval Female Spirituality and the Role of the Compiler in The Chastising of God’s Children and The Tretyse of Love” 29.08.2014 Glasgow, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Denissen Diana;
Medieval Anchorites in their Communities Talk given at a conference ” ‘I gave it to you entirely, nailed and stretched out on my cross, in this holy order’: Anchoritic Rhetoric in A Talkyng of the Love of God” 22.04.2014 Gregynog Hall, Newtown, Wales., Great Britain and Northern Ireland Denissen Diana;
Research Days in Medieval English Studies (University of Lausanne, Padua, Pazmany Peter, and Warwick' Talk given at a conference The SNSF Devotional Compilations Project 04.04.2014 Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary Renevey Denis; Cré Marleen; Denissen Diana;
English Department Research Series, UNIL Talk given at a conference Devotional Compilations and ‘The Tretise of Love and the Anchoress Transformed’ 20.11.2013 Université de Lausanne, Switzerland Renevey Denis; Denissen Diana; Cré Marleen;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) This Tretice, by Me Compiled Blog International 2016
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Libraries and Manuscripts Blog International 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Late Medieval England, Lausanne and Trilingualism Blog International 2014
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Medieval Anchorites in their Communities 2014 in the Form of a Table Blog International 2014
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Originality Blog International 2014
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Textual integrity, ‘mouvance’ and the manuscript room of the Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique Blog International 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
164232 ‘”This tretice, by me compiled”: Late Medieval Devotional Compilations in England’ 01.03.2016 Scientific Conferences

Abstract

As attested by Chaucer’s narrator in The Canterbury Tales, compilatio is a popular literary activity in the field of medieval literature. A compilation consists of a series of texts or extracts of texts that have been put together to constitute a new single and unified text. However clear this definition may be in theory, the manuscript evidence shows that in practice several categories (anthology, compilation, miscellany, etc.) may be called upon to define the particular form of a succession of texts in their manuscript context. The project limits itself to a study of devotional compilations, i.e. works that invite readers to develop a personal relationship with the divine at a fairly advanced level. It aims to understand and explicate late medieval religiosity by an investigation of devotional compilations that translated, adapted, and eventually compiled older texts to satisfy and/or to generate changes in religious sensibility. It aims therefore to assess religious sensibilities that marked the religious and intellectual landscape of England in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.This revised project takes into consideration the comments from the FNS experts and the advice given by Professor Vincent Gillespie, from the University of Oxford. It limits its focus on the choices of the compiler in a series of devotional compilations from the mid-fourteenth century and up to the fifteenth century. These compilations are significant literary and theological productions providing evidence of the lively religiosity of this period. The Chastising of God’s Children, Of Actyf Lyfe and Contemplatyf Declaration and Via ad Contemplationem, The Holy Boke Gratia Dei, Of the Knowledge of Ourselves and of God, The Pore Caitif and The Tretyse of Loue are some of the compilations this project seeks to investigate. They are extant in a large number of manuscripts that will receive detailed attention as to the information they provide with regard to the choices of the compilier, the intended audience and the readership of the manuscript, as well as possible lay or religious patronage.Compilation activity requires several choices based on a complex set of paradigms, such as availability of material, economic means, patronage and reading trends, among others. On the basis of these multiple paradigms, the compiler needs to reach several decisions for the making of his compilation. The choice of a base text, as well as the changes (slight cuts, stylistic modifications,etc.), major cuts or additions, form part of the choices of the compiler. A systematic analysis of these activities over a certain number of compilations will provide evidence for the establishment of particular trends in the making of these compilations. These trends will yield information as to the particular religiosity that marked the late-fourteenth- and early fifteenth centuries.
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