Allegory and Sexual Ethics in the High Middle Ages (The New by N. Guynn

By N. Guynn

Guynn bargains an leading edge new method of the moral, cultural, and ideological research of medieval allegory. operating among poststructuralism and historic materialism, he considers either the playfulness of allegory (its openness to a number of interpretations and views) and its disciplinary strength (the use of rhetoric to naturalize hegemonies and suppress distinction and dissent). finally, he argues that either traits might be associated with the consolidation of energy inside ruling category associations and the persecution of demonized others, particularly girls and sexual minorities. The ebook examines a few centrally canonical works, together with the verse romance Eneas, Alan of Lille's De planctu Naturae, The Romance of the Rose, and the Querelle de l. a. Rose.

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16 Yet if we are able to despise the flesh “in its infirmity” and subject it to the coercion of “the spiritual law,” the flesh will eventually “become spiritual. ”18 Having deduced the truth of the faith from judicious readings of sacred texts, the theologian imparts the spiritual law to the faithful through various rhetorical forms: orations, epistles, sermons, expositions of Scripture, and so on. ”20 Augustine’s citation of Paul suggests not only that Christians must seek the truth in Scripture, discovering figurative meaning where the literal is insufficient, but also that in order to heal the wound of sin, the flesh itself must be viewed as a natural sign or allegory of the divine will: an animal body that can be made immortal only by grace.

22 He proclaims, “By nature. ”26 Although he sees in human government evidence of corruption and sin, Augustine’s theory of a universal, corporeal error also provides religious justification for the cooperation between imperial Rome and a new imperial Church. Not only does he endorse the use of coercion by secular government (especially if it is to suppress heresy), but he also uses political vocabulary to describe the basic tenets of Catholic dogma, most notably the “revolt” of the body against the “rule” of the mind.

53 On the face of it, Augustine’s reading of Eve’s misreading is doubly speculative (“I think she assumed”) and therefore emphasizes the incomplete, flawed nature of any individual gloss on Scripture or sacred history. Augustine is, moreover, careful to associate misreading with a woman whose moral fragility seemingly can never be in doubt. However, 30 ALLEGORY AND SEXUAL ETHICS the susceptibility of sacred language to error also clearly allows Augustine to wrest the Word from the hands of women and restore it to men, and to deflect blame for Original Sin away from Adam and onto Eve.

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