By Derek A. Rivard
Blessings have been an vital and important component of medieval Christian lifestyles and worship. Benedictions for houses and offices, the knight and the pilgrim, the town below siege, and the fetus within the womb, are yet a small pattern of the multitudinous and interesting extra-sacramental benefits that fill the leaves of the liturgical books of the medieval Latin Church. whereas regularly stated as an important aspect within the lifetime of medieval humans, the which means and value of those benefits for his or her authors and audiences were often ignored by way of liturgical and old scholarship, which has concentrated as a substitute at the textual transmission and long term alterations within the benefits and the rituals surrounding them. This current paintings corrects this omission via studying those benefits with sleek eyes, and a brand new methodology.
In Blessing the World, Derek A. Rivard experiences liturgical blessing and its function within the spiritual lifetime of Christians in the course of the imperative and later heart a while, with a specific specialize in the advantages of the Franco-Roman liturgical culture from the 10th to past due 13th centuries. via a cautious and vast learn of greater than 90 such advantages, a lot of them translated for the 1st time and obtainable to a readership past experts in medieval liturgy, the writer argues that medieval benefits have been composed as an instantaneous reaction to the wishes, anxieties, ideals, and fears of the laity, and consequently those texts signify a wealthy and principally untapped resource for the learn of lay piety and of formality in medieval Europe.
Effectively drawing upon anthropology, ritual reviews, the phenomenology of faith, and standard textual learn, Rivard explores the wealthy issues of medieval piety that circulation during the advantages so that it will produce a brand new knowing of the blessing as an try and faucet the facility of the sacred to be used in way of life. Benedictions for areas, locations, folks, goods, and occasions are each one studied in flip to provide this new knowing of those advantages, and within the approach those petitions and rituals display a lot approximately better problems with medieval people's cosmology, their perceived function of their cosmos, their conceptions of God, and their connections to the divine and to the religious powers of God's creation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Derek A. Rivard is affiliate professor of background at Cottey collage.
PRAISE FOR THE publication:
"Blessing the World analyzes the texts of dozens of those benefits so one can discover how medieval Christians conceived of God, and their very own position inside of sacred heritage. This textual concentration is the book's energy, and the writer offers English translations of benefits from the 10th to the 16th centuries, together with the unique Latin in footnotes, thereby making on hand to readers a wealthy resource of those materials." ― Kathleen Kamerick, The Medieval Review
"Rivard's learn of medieval blessing rituals sheds priceless gentle at the ways in which medieval churchmen and their flocks considered their dating to God, to nature, and to their society." ― James A. Brundage, Church History
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Extra resources for Blessing the World: Ritual and Lay Piety in Medieval Religion
Ibid. Jolly does take issue, though, with Keith Thomas’s and Flint’s characterization of magic and magical practices as essentially irrational, arguing that this view is anachronistic in positing a distinction between magic and science (and religion) that developed only later (Jolly, Popular Religion, 16). For further criticisms of Thomas’s and Flint’s work, see Alexander Murray, “Missionaries and Magic in Dark Age Europe,” Past and Present 36 (1992): 186–205, and Kieckhefer, “The Specific Rationality of Medieval Magic,” in his Magic in the Middle Ages, 1–20.
63. Such as the canon, cleric, and layman who in 1326, in the southwestern French town of Agen, were charged with invoking demons to create hail. See J. M. Vidal, Bullaire de l’inquisition francaise au XIV siècle, doc. 72 (Paris: Librairie Letouzey et Ané, 1913), 118–19. ”65 Thus is the pollution banished, the Christian worldview of a reality alive with invisible powers realized and reinforced, and the stability and continuity of the community preserved. From this brief sampling of blessings, we can see how such liturgical rituals could provide comfort and solace in a hostile and threatening world, in a manner not far removed from magic according to Flint and other historians of magic in the Middle Ages.
Saints most often appear in adjurations and exorcisms, lending credence to the idea that saints were deemed good channels of divine power for purifying the profane landscape. 18 introduct ion cially appropriate, as it is a song composed probably for use during the feast of Pentecost, after the harvest was gathered in ancient Israel, and is both a thanksgiving for a plentiful harvest and a recollection of deliverance: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.