Call for Papers: Following the Rules or Not in Preaching

9-12 July 2012, International Medieval Congress (IMC) - Institute of Medieval Studies, University of Leeds

European Medieval culture was based largely on oral transmission and preaching was one of the most important vehicles of teaching and learning. Numerous preachers across Europe condemned vices and praised virtues in order to instruct and exhort both lay and religious people in regard to faith and morals. Considering the role sermons played in religious life, preachers were exhorted to act following rules established by Artes praedicandi, manuals on formal composition, so to find the best way to convey the religious message. These treatises (which depicted different models of sermon) provided preachers with directives regarding sermon contents, structure, rhetoric; nonetheless they also listed a lot of rules preachers were expected to follow in their daily activity and in their habits. As it is clear, Artes Praedicandi defined the theory of sermon, still preaching was a lively event, subjected to the context in which it took place, continually changing for the differences both of the preachers and of audiences. This session of the IMC, which is sponsored by the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society, seeks to decline the theme of Leeds 2012 (“Rules to follow... or not”) addressing three constitutive elements of preaching: sermons, preachers, audiences.

See the Call for Papers for more information.