Book Title: From Words to Deeds : The Effectiveness of Preaching in the Late Middle Ages
Author: Peter Stevenson
Format: Hardback | 262 pages
Publication Date: 26 Sep 2014
Preaching is a method of exhorting the practice of virtues and the performance of one's duties. If people are not moved to act, preachers become obsolete. Because of this, preachers in the Middle Ages understood the importance of ensuring that their words were heeded and disseminated. The focus of this volume is the relationship, whether direct or indirect, between what was preached and what was achieved. The articles in this collection present a range of studies, from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century and, while focused on Italy, also give a broad European perspective. The volume investigates both the tools employed by preachers and the pragmatic aims and outcomes of their sermons. It does this by exploring the various oratorical and gesticular techniques employed by preachers, as well as their methods of preparing themselves to deliver their message and preparing their audiences to receive it. Furthermore, the volume considers both hypothetical and concrete relationships between preachers' words and civic policies and the behaviours of groups or individual citizens, as well as the question of how and when words were translated into actions.