By David d'Avray
This examine exhibits how marriage symbolism emerged from the realm of texts to turn into a social strength affecting traditional humans. It covers the total medieval interval yet identifies the a long time round 1200 as decisive. New arguments for concerning preaching as a mass medium from the 13th century are awarded, development at the author's Medieval Marriage Sermons. In marriage preaching symbolism used to be principal. Marriage symbolism additionally turned a social strength via legislation, and lay at the back of the combo of monogamy and indissolubility which made the medieval Church's marriage procedure a special improvement in international background. Symbolism isn't really offered as a proof by itself: it interacted with different causal components, significantly the eleventh-century Gregorian Reform's force for celibacy, which made the better clergy like a 3rd gender and no more sympathetic to patriarchal polygamous traits. sexual activity as an emblem of Christ's union with the Church turned vital, not only in mysticism yet in society as dependent by way of Church legislations. Symbolism additionally explains it sounds as if weird and wonderful ideas, equivalent to the exemption from capital punishment of clerics in minor orders only if they married a virgin no longer a widow. the foundations approximately blessing moment marriages also are hooked up with this nexus of thought.
The e-book relies on quite a lot of manuscript resources: sermons, canon legislation commentaries, Apostolic reformatory registers, papal bulls, a gaol supply roll, and pastoral handbooks. the gathering of files on the finish of the e-book expands the resource base for the heritage of medieval marriage as a rule in addition to underpinning the thesis approximately symbolism.
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Extra info for Medieval Marriage. Symbolism and Society
A symbol or metaphor is capable of generating new ideas about the relationship it describes, whether that relationship is real or imaginary. It can also a·ect social policy and structures. Marriage is a ‘generative’ metaphor, vivid, full of unexpected possibilities, potentially a powerful inﬂuence on thought and action. (Not all metaphors are like this. ) Other powerful generative metaphors are the meal as a symbol of community, the body as a symbol of the state, or the ‘conduit’ metaphor for communication.
Introduction 17 symbolism, and to Gabriella Zarri’s remarkable account of marriage symbolism in rituals and iconography. It is nevertheless a quite distinct line of enquiry. There will be a lot of thick description of the symbolic forms of thought underlying marriage law and practice, but the book has preoccupations which are rather played down in anthropology a› la Cli·ord Geertz (which sees the study of society as more like interpreting a poem than causal analysis): force (not necessarily in a negative sense) and timing.
Ideas repeated to great masses of people over many decades will have impinged in some way on the minds of a signiﬁcant portion of the audience: this much is taken for granted. The whole argument of this chapter is vulnerable to extreme scepticism on this point, but such scepticism ﬂies in the face of common sense. The question then becomes one of timing and scale: when did marriage symbolism become such a regular part of preaching that laypeople who went to sermons could hardly escape it? It will be answered as follows: D.