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A Gothic SermonMaking a Contract with the Mother of God, Saint Mary of Amiens$
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Stephen Murray

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238473

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238473.001.0001

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Structure and Content

Structure and Content

(p.13) 2 Structure and Content
A Gothic Sermon

Stephen Murray

University of California Press

Modern sermons analyze a particular biblical text at various levels from the scriptures with references to the Fathers. Michel Zink argued that the preacher's apparently artless flow of consciousness was deceptive—that the piece of revisionist scholarship was particularly organized in two distinct parts, with a halfway turning point articulated through the almost verbatim repetition of the opening protocol. Zink was apparently perceptive in recognizing this rhetorical bookmark at the middle of the sermon. Although, in fact, the overlapping themes of the successive phases of the sermon obscure any tight structural organization—and given the repetition everywhere apparent in the piece—the presence of one more repeated formula might well have escaped an audience seduced by the word images, the reported dialogues, and the anecdotes of an amusing entertainer. Therefore, the speculated intention may have been quite different from the effect.

Keywords:   scriptures, Fathers, biblical text, protocol, anecdotes

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