Christianity and Romance in Medieval England

Christianity and Romance in Medieval England

Edited by Rosalind Field, Phillipa Hardman, Michelle Sweeney

Hardback
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D.S.Brewer

Overview

Overview

Essays examining the genre of medieval romance in its cultural Christian context, bringing out its chameleon-like character.
The relationship between the Christianity of medieval culture and its most characteristic narrative, the romance, is complex and the modern reading of it is too often confused. Not only can it be difficult to negotiate the distant, sometimes alien concepts of religious cultures of past centuries in a modern, secular, multi-cultural society, but there is no straightforward Christian context of Middle English romance - or of medieval romance in general, although this volume focuses on the romances of England. Medieval audiences had apparently very different expectations and demands of their entertainment: some looking for, and evidently finding, moral exempla and analogues of biblical narratives, others secular, even sensational, entertainment of a type condemned by moralising voices.

The essays collected here show how the romances of medieval England engage with its Christian culture. Topics include the handling of material from pre-Christian cultures, classical and Celtic, the effect of the Crusades, the meaning of chivalry, and the place of women in pious romances. Case studies, including Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Malory's Morte Darthur, offer new readings and ideas for teaching romance to contemporary students. They do not present a single view of a complex situation, but demonstrate the importance of reading romances with an awareness of the knowledge and cultural capital represented by Christianity for its original writers and audiences.

Contributors: HELEN PHILLIPS, STEPHEN KNIGHT, PHILLIPA HARDMAN, MARIANNE AILES, RALUCA L. RADULESCU, CORINNE SAUNDERS, K.S. WHETTER, ANDREA HOPKINS, ROSALIND FIELD, DEREK BREWER, D. THOMAS HANKS, MICHELLE SWEENEY

Details

April 2010
2 line illustrations
226 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Christianity and Culture: Issues in Teaching/Research
ISBN: 9781843842194
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
D.S.Brewer
BIC JNU, 1DBKE, 2AB, 3H
BISAC LIT011000
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Helen Cooper
Medieval Classical Romances: The Perils of Inheritance - Helen Phillips
Celticity and Christianity in Medieval Romance - Stephen Knight
Crusading, Chivalry and the Saracen World in Insular Romance - Phillipa Hardman and Marianne Ailes
How Christian is Chivalry? - Raluca Radulescu
Magic and Christianity - Corinne Saunders
Subverting, Containing and Upholding Christianity in Medieval Romance - Kevin S Whetter
Female Saints and Romance Heroines: Feminine Fiction and Faith among the Literate Elite - Andrea Hopkins
Athelston of the Middle English Nativity of St Edmund - Rosalind Field
Romance Traditions and Christian Values in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Derek S Brewer
Questioning Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Teaching the Text through its Medieval English Christian Context - D Thomas Hanks Jr
Teaching Malory: A Subject-Centred Approach - Michelle Sweeney

Reviews

Teachers in need of distilling essential information, issues and concepts for classroom consumption are its ideal but not exclusive audience. ENGLISH STUDIES

A truly outstanding collection of essays on romance and Christianity that offers many new and valuable insights into this relatively narrow field. PARERGON

One of the great strengths of this collection is that each essay offers substantial, detailed readings of the romances. ARTHURIANA

With its focus on the romance... this collection of essays accomplishes the difficult task of saying something new about Christianity and medieval literature. CHOICE

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