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Title: Richard Rolle, election and the sense of an ending
Author: Shon, Frank.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3407 1366
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2003
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The aim of this thesis is to suggest a model of development for the writings of Richard Rolle, based on the hermit's application of the theological concept of election. The thesis falls into three parts, corresponding broadly to the early, middle and late phases of Rolle's career. Chapter One charts Rolle's attempts to define the credentials of the electi in terms of the contemplative life in the early Judica me Deus, and points to certain tensions in Rolle's approach to the pastoral manual form. Chapter Two examines Rolle's subsequent attempts in the Tractatus super Apocalypsim to clarify the relationship of the electi to the signs hidden in Scripture and in phenomena, and places this within the teleological framework of the Apocalypse. Chapter Three begins with the Canticum Amoris lyric and leads to the Super Canticum Canticorum, Rolle's Commentary on the Song of Songs, in an attempt to show the movement from the experimental Marian focus of the lyric to the explicit Christological emphasis of Rolle's middle period. By reference to Augustine and to Bernard of Clairvaux, the latter part of the chapter attempts to show the influence of the concept of election in this movement. Using the Contra Amatores Mundi treatise as a focus, Chapter Four examines Rolle's pervasive sense of the universal movement in which the contemplative life plays a pre-ordained part, and considers the ways in which this teleological analysis defines the experience of contemplation. Chapter Five returns to the Super Canticum Canticorum, and examines the stylistic manifestations of Rolle's belief in the predestined purpose and authority of his writings. With reference to Ciceronian and Augustinian principles of rhetoric, this chapter points to Rolle's growing sense of his own writings as possessing a performative, para-liturgical function. This movement reaches its fullest expression in the Melos Amoris, and this rhetorical development is related, in Chapter Six, to Rolle's increasing assurance of his status as an electus. Dealing with the final phase of the hermit's career, after 1343, Chapter Seven considers Rolle's Latin Emendatio Vitae and English writings, in an attempt to explain the apparent disappearance of the ideas and themes that have hitherto shaped Rolle's development; the latter part of the chapter argues that these have been incorporated within the famous `three degrees' of love
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Contemplative life and contemplation