Non-Fiction Books:

John the Evangelist and Medieval German Writing

Imitating the Inimitable



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John the Evangelist and Medieval German Writing by Annette Volfing
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The saint and visionary author John the Evangelist becomes the focus of spiritual and literary discussion in a great range of Middle High German writings, many of them not previously examined by scholars. These include not just sermons and devotional literature (sometimes aimed specifically at women in religious orders), but also narrative romance in verse and 'Meisterlieder', the metrically intricate didactic poetry of the later part of the period. Paying particular attention to the theme of 'imitatio' - the extent to which the saint is presented as a suitable role-model for different categories of reader - Annette Volfing reveals the considerable variations in the literary uses of John in different genres. The strength of the book depends partly on the fact that it draws attention to a body of largely unknown literary texts, and partly on the fact that its analysis involves the juxtaposition of genres normally considered in isolation. Above all, it provides a coherent overview of a theme of central importance to the history of Western spirituality.
Release date NZ
December 1st, 2001
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Oxford University Press
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