Civic Virtues in Dominican Homiletic Literature in Tuscany in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

Iannella, C. (2007). Civic Virtues in Dominican Homiletic Literature in Tuscany in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries. Medieval Sermon Studies, 51 (1): 22-32.

 Abstract: From an historical perspective, the theological writings of Remigio dei Girolami and the preaching ad populum of Giordano da Pisa (different in content, form, and language) present themselves as specula societatis which reflect many aspects of contemporary urban society, and show the various levels of Dominican pastoral activity. In them the moral behaviour of the individual acquires a social dimension, extending out from the private to the public sphere and involving the whole civic community. The concepts of common-good, of justice, of peace and concord, of pardon linked to patience and mercy are presented as 'civic virtues', and are introduced into the local communal life. However, the difference between theory and reality, between models of behaviour and actual practice, leads the two friars to adopt an extremely pragmatic attitude: the object of their pastoral aim is the identification and the explanation of virtuous conduct rather than the analysis and definition of virtue as a concept. This is a method which tries to find a compromise, a point of contact between two cultures, religious and lay, and which dovetails with the moralization of individual and collective behaviour which is at the core of the treatises of Remigio and the sermons of Giordano.

Source: IngentaConnect



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