Structure and Content

Stephen Murray

in A Gothic Sermon

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238473
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930070 | DOI:
Structure and Content

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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Modern sermons analyze a particular biblical text at various levels from the scriptures with references to the Fathers. Michel Zink argued that the preacher's apparently artless flow of consciousness was deceptive—that the piece of revisionist scholarship was particularly organized in two distinct parts, with a halfway turning point articulated through the almost verbatim repetition of the opening protocol. Zink was apparently perceptive in recognizing this rhetorical bookmark at the middle of the sermon. Although, in fact, the overlapping themes of the successive phases of the sermon obscure any tight structural organization—and given the repetition everywhere apparent in the piece—the presence of one more repeated formula might well have escaped an audience seduced by the word images, the reported dialogues, and the anecdotes of an amusing entertainer. Therefore, the speculated intention may have been quite different from the effect.

Keywords: scriptures; Fathers; biblical text; protocol; anecdotes

Chapter.  3729 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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