The language of medicine in Renaissance preaching
Howard, Peter. (2020) The language of medicine in Renaissance preaching. In In Henderson, John, Jacobs, Frederika and Nelson, Jonathan K. (Ed.). Representing infirmity : Diseased bodies in Renaissance Italy pp. 28-46 Routledge.
|Editors||Henderson, John, Jacobs, Frederika and Nelson, Jonathan K.|
[Excerpt] Health, infrmity, and healing were intertwined in the theological and devotional language—textual, visual and oral—of ffteenth-century Florence. In the Brancacci Chapel of the Church of the Carmine, for example, the dramatic, innovative rendering of the scenes from St Peter’s life both drew the imagined devotees into a narrative which reached back into biblical history and also efectively connected them to the present with familiar local fgures, current clothing, and Florentine streetscapes. Noteworthy is the prominence given to scenes that represent infrmity and healing: the healing of the cripple in Jerusalem and the raising of Tabitha from the dead in Joppa (Masolino); and Peter healing the sick with his shadow (Masaccio). These representations are juxtaposed with the visual images of Peter preaching: in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, in Rome, and in Antioch.
In terms of texts—written or ‘oral’ (often the artefacts that presaged sermons or remained after their delivery)—it is striking the degree to which medical metaphors and language abounded. This is not surprising in a world where sickness, death, and plague were constant companions and they appear frequently in the exempla that were derived from the Bible—the constant companion of not just preachers but also thinkers (including humanists) in the period. Indeed, a survey of the biblical text by way of a concordance, the usual recourse of preachers in the period when developing a sermon, indicates the extensive array of such metaphors: sixty-three occurrences of variations on infrmitas (infrmity), ffty-fve of peste (plague), seventy-six of lepra (leprosy), and numerous occurrences of forms of claudus (lame). Curare—in the sense ‘to heal’—occurs 114 times
|Book title||Representing infirmity : Diseased bodies in Renaissance Italy|
|Place of publication||Abingdon, Oxon|
|Series||Body in the city|
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|Deposited||21 Jun 2021|
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