This essay explores how the performance of the liturgy was integrated into late medieval education of nuns, for whom liturgical text conveyed both linguistic and spiritual knowledge. In southern German Observant Dominican convents, Latin language was systematically taught to nuns through the use of German/Latin bilingual or translated hymn books, showing that formal grammatical treatises were not necessary for Latin language pedagogy. Comprehension of the Latin would not only enable the nuns to understand the Latin liturgy but also to engage interpretively with the sung liturgical text as a reflection on the spiritual meaning of the ritual. As the German-language commentary on the hymn Inventor rutili reveals, hymn texts were understood to comment on the performative aspect of the liturgical rite and its theological significance. Full understanding of liturgical text would thus enrich a nun’s experience of her role within her community, her order, and the church at large.
Rekindling the Light of Faith: Hymn Translation and Spiritual Renewal in the Fifteenth-Century Observant Reform
Claire Taylor Jones; Rekindling the Light of Faith: Hymn Translation and Spiritual Renewal in the Fifteenth-Century Observant Reform. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 September 2012; 42 (3): 567–596. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-1720634
Download citation file: