Skip navigation
Skip navigation

The style and structure of Wulfstan's sermons

Dien, Stephanie Jean

Description

Previous studies of Wulfstan's sermons, conditioned by the requirements of establishing the canon by defining "characteristic" features, have produced a distorted and restricted view of his work as a sermon writer. It is argued that his sermons are unified and consistent expositions of a theme. Their content is not negligible, and he is not significant merely as a forceful orator. In reworking his sources, he was not concerned with bringing them into accord with his "characteristic"...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorDien, Stephanie Jean
dc.date.accessioned2016-10-25T01:40:27Z
dc.date.available2016-10-25T01:40:27Z
dc.date.copyright1974
dc.identifier.otherb1240776
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/109402
dc.description.abstractPrevious studies of Wulfstan's sermons, conditioned by the requirements of establishing the canon by defining "characteristic" features, have produced a distorted and restricted view of his work as a sermon writer. It is argued that his sermons are unified and consistent expositions of a theme. Their content is not negligible, and he is not significant merely as a forceful orator. In reworking his sources, he was not concerned with bringing them into accord with his "characteristic" modes of expression, but with the clear and persuasive exposition of a theme, and his full achievement as a sermon writer emerges from a study of the development of his themes and the techniques employed to instruct and persuade. It is from a comprehensive study of his reworking of AElfric's compositions, instead of one which concentrates on isolated alterations considered to reveal "characteristic" features, that it can be seen that he was not engaged in a stylistic transformation, but in reshaping his sources into sermons unified by his chosen theme and in accord with his own didactic method. Few of the changes he makes are purely stylistic ones, for in altering the style, he alters the meaning in order to make the details of his source consistent with his alterations to the theme and organization. His sermons, then, are not derivative, or his alterations random, as is suggested by the description of his non-stylistic alterations to his sources as additions or omissions dictated by his "characteristic" interests. Only by considering the "characteristic" features of Wulfstan's compositions and handling of his sources which have been enumerated in the context of his didactic aims does their significance emerge, and it is evident that the "characteristic" features of his style, which have been presented as mannerisms, are intimately related to the expression of his themes and his didactic purpose.
dc.format.extentiv, 407 leaves
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshWulfstan, Archbishop of York, d. 1023
dc.subject.lcshPreaching History Middle Ages, 600-1500England
dc.subject.lcshEnglish prose literature History and criticismOld English, ca. 450-1100
dc.titleThe style and structure of Wulfstan's sermons
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorTurner, G.W.
local.contributor.supervisorDowner, L. J.
local.contributor.supervisorRussell, G. H.
dcterms.valid1974
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1974-01
dc.date.updated2016-10-25T00:11:19Z
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

Download

File Description SizeFormat Image
b12407768-dien.pdf8.5 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail


Items in Open Research are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

Updated:  27 November 2018/ Responsible Officer:  University Librarian/ Page Contact:  Library Systems & Web Coordinator