"Every Valley Shall be Exalted"
The Discourse of Opposites in Twelfth-Century Thought
By (author) Constance Brittain Bouchard
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Every Valley Shall be Exalted by Constance Brittain Bouchard
Book DescriptionIn high medieval France, men and women saw the world around them as the product of tensions between opposites. Imbued with a Christian culture in which a penniless preacher was also the King of Kings and the last were expected to be first, twelfth-century thinkers brought order to their lives through the creation of opposing categories. In a highly original work, Constance Brittain Bouchard examines this poorly understood component of twelfth-century thought, one responsible, in her view, for the fundamental strangeness of that culture to modern thinking. Scholars have long recognized that dialectical reasoning was the basic approach to philosophical, legal, and theological matters in the high Middle Ages. Bouchard argues that this way of thinking and categorizing-which she terms a "discourse of opposites"-permeated all aspects of medieval thought. She rejects suggestions that it was the result of imprecision, and provides evidence that people of that era sought not to reconcile opposing categories but rather to maintain them. Bouchard scrutinizes the medieval use of opposites in five broad areas: scholasticism, romance, legal disputes, conversion, and the construction of gender. Drawing on research in a series of previously unedited charters and the earliest glossa manuscripts, she demonstrates that this method of constructing reality was a constitutive element of the thought of the period.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801440588
(229mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publish Date: 12-Dec-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Constance Brittain Bouchard
Sword, Miter, and Cloister, Paperback (June 2009)
Bouchard provides a fresh perspective on social and ecclesiastical life in the High Middle Ages, drawing on a vast range of primary sources to reveal the surprisingly close relationship between monasteries and the nobility.
Holy Entrepreneurs, Paperback (May 2009)» View all books by Constance Brittain Bouchard
The twelfth century was characterized by intense spirituality as well as rapid economic development. Drawing on unprecedented research, Constance Brittain Bouchard demonstrates that the Cistercian monks of Burgundy were exemplary in both spheres...
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