Writings of a reformer : a look at sermon studies and Bible studies through Repyngdon's Sermones super Evangelia Dominicalia.
Philip Repyngdon's Sermones super Evangelia Dominicalia run to
about two-thirds of a million words. This makes it similar in
length to the Bible, ten times longer than the C-text of Piers
Plowman, five times the length of the complete Roman de la Rose
and three times that of the Canterbury Tales. It may only survive
in twelve manuscripts, four of which simply contain extracts
but nevertheless an edition or a full analysis and review of the
Sermones is an undertaking of far more than three years' work.
Given the type of work that it is, namely a compilation, I have
been concerned to avoid a common pitfall. This is the practice
of drawing out quotations from the text and taking them as evidence
of the author's beliefs without having first established the precise
status of the extract: whether, for instance, it is itself part
of a passage drawn by the author from a source. This pitfall
seemed evident in many commentaries on Mirk's Festial when I first
worked on that sermon-cycle and the methodology I adopted there
has simply been developed for this present study. What is offered
here is the groundwork for understanding how Repyngdon put this
work together, for what purpose and in what context. But the
foundations are dug firmly in the unearthing of the sources, the
materials which Repyngdon himself selected and fitted together
in his own construction.
Many of the conventions I have adopted are explained in the
introduction to the second volume since they apply mainly to the
breakdown of the sermons. However certain principles and conventions
apply equally to the first volume and so are best mentioned
I have attempted to restrict the use of abbreviations to
a minimum. Thus citations are given in full in the first instance
and subsequently reduced to surname and short title or article
heading plus volume and/or page references. Abbreviations used
are listed below.
With regard to manuscripts, 'r' and 'v' denote recto and
verso respectively and 'a' and 'b' are used for columnar reference
where columns occur; 'I' denotes the line in instances where
I have numbered columns or folios by line.
Foreign names including place-names, in an attempt to avoid
'cultural imperialism', have been given where practicable in the
modern form of the country in question. Thus I write for instance:
'Iacopo da Varazze', not 'James of Voragine' or 'James of
Genoa'; 'Guillaume Peyraud', not 'Guilelmus Peraldus';
'Lyon', not 'Lyons'.
For English medieval personal names I have followed the form used
by Emden. Personal names for pre-scholastic writers follow the
form in the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church.