MASTERS OF THE SACRED PAGE
Manuscripts of Theology in the Latin West to 1274

LESLEY SMITH
136pp ILLUS 2001 LIST PRICE: £26.95 P600

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Description
Starting with the premise that the history of a medieval subject cannot be properly written 'without recourse to the materials it produced', Smith here provides an illuminating study of theology and scholarship in the Middle Ages. She focuses on the dramatic transformations of the discipline in the twelfth century and uses a collection of contemporary manuscripts as a guide to its changes and developments. Biblical commentaries, sermons and manuals for pastoral use have only recently begun to be edited and printed in numbers reflecting their widespread use in the Middle Ages; Smith includes such material in her study. She notes that medieval masters of theology had a wide view of their subject and places their discipline within the rapidly evolving intellectual and educational context of the twelfth-century university, thereby shedding light on the complex relations between theology, the arts and the burgeoning disciplines of medicine and law. Using the manuscripts themselves as witnesses, she shows how theology attempted to define itself, competed with other disciplines for students and teachers, and cooperated with them to foster new developments in book technology.