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Medicina Iesus: the Function of Medicine in a Late Medieval Sermon Cycle
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies. (UGPS)
2014 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

After describing instances of material healing found in the New Testament, a late medieval macaronic sermon proceeds to develop an extended metaphor for how the crucified Christ cures the heritage of Adam’s sinfulness. He first takes the pulse and diagnoses the ailment. He then prescribes a diet of spiritual food. Finally, he makes an ointment by crushing his own body against the wood of the cross and laying it against the wound of sin. The sermon, found in the learned collection from the early fifteenth century -- Oxford, MS Bodley 649 -- overlays the material and the metaphorical.


The collection contains two extended Christus medicus passages, as well as a host of references to contemporary practice and medical authorities. Such specific knowledge suggests more than a general correspondence between spiritual and physical healing and illness, material medicine and metaphorical trope. This paper interrogates the nature of this relationship. Further, it will also address how the context of production (Oxford University) as well as intended audience for the cycle influenced content in comparison with contemporary cycles. Finally, this paper addresses the theological implications for understanding the boundaries of interpreting materia medica within spiritual contexts. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114117OAI: diva2:893930
The 49th International Congress of Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo (8 May 2014)
Available from: 2016-01-13 Created: 2016-01-13 Last updated: 2016-01-13

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