Symbolism and Society
By (author) D. L. D'Avray
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Medieval Marriage by D. L. D'Avray
Book DescriptionThis study shows how marriage symbolism emerged from the world of texts to become a social force affecting ordinary people. It covers the whole medieval period but identifies the decades around 1200 as decisive. New arguments for regarding preaching as a mass medium from the thirteenth century are presented, building on the author's Medieval Marriage Sermons. In marriage preaching symbolism was central. Marriage symbolism also became a social force through law, and lay behind the combination of monogamy and indissolubility which made the medieval Church's marriage system a unique development in world history. Symbolism is not presented as an explanation on its own: it interacted with other causal factors, notably the eleventh-century Gregorian Reform's drive for celibacy, which made the higher clergy like a third gender and less sympathetic to patriarchal polygamous tendencies. Sexual intercourse as a symbol of Christ's union with the Church became central, not just in mysticism but in society as structured by Church law. Symbolism also explains apparently bizarre rules, such as the exemption from capital punishment of clerics in minor orders provided that they married a virgin not a widow. The rules about blessing second marriages are also connected with this nexus of thought. The book is based on a wide range of manuscript sources: sermons, canon law commentaries, Apostolic Penitentiary registers, papal bulls, a gaol delivery roll, and pastoral handbooks. The collection of documents at the end of the book expands the source base for the history of medieval marriage generally as well as underpinning the thesis about symbolism.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199239788
(212mm x 138mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 20-Dec-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author D. L. D'Avray
Rationalities in History, Hardback (September 2010)
The distinguished historian David d'Avray applies seminal Weberian ideas to the comparative history of religion and the philosophy of law.
Medieval Religious Rationalities, Hardback (September 2010)
A groundbreaking study applying Weberian theories of rationality to medieval social, cultural and religious values and structures.
Medieval Marriage Sermons, Hardback (July 2001)
This edition of marriage sermons reveals what a number of famous preachers actually taught about marriage. David D'Avray teases out the close connection between marriage symbolism and social, cultural, and legal realities in the thirteenth century; and assesses the impact of this preaching.
Death and the Prince, Hardback (November 1994)» View all books by D. L. D'Avray
This is a fascinating study of attitudes to death and the afterlife in medieval Europe. Based on unpublished sermons in memory of kings and princes, it examines the relationship between kingship and death, in a period when a genuinely secular political consciousness existed alongside other-worldly priorities.
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Author Biography - D. L. D'Avray
David d'Avray is Professor of History at University College London.
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