By Sarah Beckwith
On the very middle of Christian doctrine and overdue medieval perform was once identical to the crucified Christ. Sarah Beckwith examines the social which means of this picture throughout quite a number key devotional English texts, utilizing insights from anthropology and cultural reports. similar to the crucified Christ, she argues, acted as a spot the place the tensions among the sacred and the profane, the person and the collective, have been performed out. The medieval obsession with the contours of Christ's physique functioned to problem and rework social and political relatives. a desirable and hard e-book of curiosity not just to scholars of medieval literature, but additionally to cultural historians and women's reports experts.
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Extra resources for Christ's Body: Identity, Culture and Society in Late Medieval Writings
As Phythian Adams notes: To all those outside or on the edge of the community, therefore, [such] ceremonies must have been a constant reminder of its discrete and predominantly masculine ident-ity. 46 In a way that becomes even more apparent when we come to discuss the body as an image of community in religious practice, the body is never really collective. Although its ritual and ceremonial force was precisely to symbolize community, there was always an outside and an inside. 48 John Bossy concurs with Mervyn James in an impressive article on the ‘Mass as Social Institution’ which sees the Eucharist as functioning in essentially integrative ways.
12 But Jack’s ‘Rejoinder’ invests the hands of the labourer with a newly subversive power: Me merueliþ of þi lewdnes Dawe—or of wilful lesynges— For Poule laborid with his hondes, & oþer postilles also— , oure gentil Iesu, as it is opunly knowe. 13 CHRIST’S BODY 25 It is an inversion of the typically abstract and hierarchical image of the body as the naturalization of social order, a replacement of an idea about the body, in fact, with a working practice invested in it, a materialism of the body as opposed to an idealization of it.
83 But in doing so they are making the automatic assumption that the realm of the ‘subjective’ and the realm of the ‘mystical’ are automatically asocial, and they are therefore in danger of making a very modern, postRomantic opposition between self and society. Inasmuch as their comments reveal a symptomatic shift in the very organization of piety, in its production, transmission, its distribution, its reception, they tend to relinquish the whole arena of identity, and the formation of identity, as one which happens outside a social arena.
Christ's Body: Identity, Culture and Society in Late Medieval Writings by Sarah Beckwith