Liturgical Books of the Middle Ages

REL751
Spring 2017
TH 1:30pm - 3:20pm
Area: 
Area III
Professor: 
Permission Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

An introduction to the major books and texts used in Western Christian worship from c. 800 to c. 1500. This hands-on course explores the history of Western liturgy through original primary sources in the Beinecke Library, examining different book types and their histories (e.g. bibles, psalters, antiphoners, missals), equipping students to describe and interpret manuscript testimony, and enabling them to access and research ancient forms of liturgy. Points of discussion will include the dynamic relationship between worship and writing, the role of illumination and design, and the transition from manuscripts to printed books in the Renaissance.

Background Expected: 

A grounding in at least one of the following: palaeography, Latin, liturgy, or pre-Reformation church history.

Course Requirements: 

Weekly reading (50-75 pages); one short presentation on a pre-assigned document; short paper of 3-5 pages identifying a liturgical source; final paper of 15-20 pages.

Basis of Evaluation: 

Grades will be determined according to the following formula: Attendance and participation (20%); Discussion leader on a pre-assigned document (10%); Short paper identifying manuscript fragment (20%); Final paper (50%).