Dominican Sermons and Audience in Late Medieval Italy
Series:Trends in Medieval Philology 22
Aims and Scope
This book examines the audiences and languages of Dominican sermons in late medieval Italy. It is a thorough analysis of how Latinate theological culture interacted with popular religious devotion. In particular it assesses the role of vernacular theology. Eliana Corbari defines vernacular theology as a form of theology that is based neither on a Latin scholastic model nor a monastic one. It is a “third dimension” of theology which was accessible to the laity, and in particular women, through their attendance at sermons and the reading of vernacular devotional works (in this case, medieval Italian treatises and sermons). Through painstaking manuscript work, Corbari makes an excellent contribution to sermon studies, gender studies, medieval theology, and codicology. She demonstrates that Dominican friars preached to an active contingent of laywomen, usually members of confraternities, who not only attended these sermons but re-read them and also disseminated them through book production to the wider Florentine community.