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Instruction and Conversion in the World of Iberian Exempla: Pillars of Christian Morality

English title Instruction and Conversion in the World of Iberian Exempla: Pillars of Christian Morality
Applicant Bizzarri Hugo Oscar
Number 205179
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Département de langues et littératures romanes - Faculté des Lettres Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Romance languages and literature
Start/End 01.10.2021 - 31.07.2025
Approved amount 259'589.00
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Keywords (3)

Literature; Middle Age; Exempla

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Leandro Alves Teodoro et Hugo O. Bizzarri
Lay summary
Ce projet vise à créer un noyau de recherche international et interdisciplinaire consacré aux études sur les fonctions édifiantes des recueils de sermons vernaculaires produits ou compilés dans la péninsule ibérique du XIIIe au XVIe siècle. A travers l'analyse du rôle joué par l'exemplum dans l'enseignement du comportement promu dans les cours royales et dans la prédication populaire, cette recherche abordera le processus de naturalisation des croyances chrétiennes en terre ibérique, en prenant en compte son public cible et de ses moyens de circulation. Dans l'analyse de ces guides de conduite, le noyau de recherche va mesurer dans quelle mesure les exempla ont renforcé une discipline qui apprend au chrétien à prendre soin de lui-même, de son corps et de son âme, et de son groupe social. Dans ce sens, les chercheurs examineront les récits qui ont cherché à établir un critère d'action, dans deux domaines de la vie : les relations avec soi-même et les relations avec les autres. 
domaines de la vie : la relation avec soi-même et la relation avec les autres.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.09.2021

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Abstract

This project aims to create an international and interdisciplinary research nucleus - with a double head office, the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and the University of Fribourg - dedicated to the studies on the edifying functions of vernacular sermon collections produced or compiled in Iberian Peninsula from the 13th to the 16th century. Involving researchers from Brazilian and European universities - such as the University of Genebra (Switzerland), the University of São Paulo (Brazil), Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), University of León (Spain), and the University of the State of São Paulo (Brazil) - the proposal is to examine the games implied in the learning of Christian morals, in which moralizing short stories have become key pieces to facilitate the memorization of types of recommended or blamed behavior, by means of the exemplification of virtues and vices. Through the analysis of the role played by the exemplum in the teaching of the behavior promoted in royal courts and in popular preaching, this research will approach the process of naturalization of Christian beliefs in the Iberian soil, by taking into account its target audience and its means of circulation. In the analysis of those conduct guides, the research nucleus will measure the extent to which the exempla reinforced a discipline that teaches the Christian to take care of himself, of his own body and soul, and of his social group. In this sense, the researchers will scrutinize the narratives that sought to establish a criterion to action, in two domains of life: the self-relationship and the relationship with others. This proposal is not focused on the analysis of the characteristics intrinsic to the exempla collection genre, aiming to classify them or to pursue their origins, or to define their singularities in relation to the whole of moralizing texts from that period - like proposed by important names from history and philology fields. This project will pursue a less explored way, that of the construction of truth related to the teaching of actions that should guide men and women through the Catholic practices by focusing on the behavior fixed by a web of narratives. The research will start from the 13th century, a point that marks the beginning of the production of vernacular collections, to the 16th century, when many of those works were printed, in a context of expansion of faith in the Iberian extensions overseas. It is a matter of scrutinizing the way those texts encouraged the faithful to question their own behavior and to meditate on their own existence, evaluating the past and present with a view to perfect their actions in the future.
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