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Title:The church and clergy in Johannes Pauli's "Schimpf und Ernst"
Author(s):Pearsall, Arlene Epp
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kalinke, Marianne E.
Department / Program:Germanic Languages and Literatures
Discipline:Germanic Languages and Literatures
History, Medieval
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Germanic
Religion, History of
History, Medieval
Abstract:Johannes Pauli, OFM (c. 1450-1520), was a monk, priest, preacher, teacher, and administrator, who late in his life became an editor, compiler, and writer. His major work was Schimpf und Ernst (1522), a collection of 693 short Schwanke with commentary. Although more than a third of these focus on the pre-Reformation church and clergy, no general critique of Pauli's treatment of these topics has so far been offered. The intention of the present study is to provide such a critique.
In pursuit of this goal, the relevant Schwanke have been studied in their historical and literary contexts. Results of the study indicate that Pauli was not a mere compiler, as some critics have believed, but a versatile and imaginative writer and a discerning observer. His originality is shown by the large number of wholly original tales, by the commentary added by him to many tales, and by his myriad revisions of the tales actually borrowed. His discernment is amply shown by a comparison of his treatment of the laws, dogmas, and customs of the late-medieval church with their canonical and historical backgrounds.
In his edition of Schimpf und Ernst (1924), Johannes Bolte wrote that Pauli deliberately chose to be silent about the growing opposition to the Catholic hegemony. That view is borne out in the study. Pauli gives faithful attention to such clerical abuses as concubinage, nepotism, pluralism, absenteeism, avarice, and the misuse of indulgences. He presents these as failings of individual clerics, however, and not as massive patterns that might justify a broad-scale purification.
The first two chapters of the study are concerned with Pauli's public life and with the church and clergy of his time. Subsequent chapters focus on definite activities of the clergy--to wit, living exemplary lives (3), enhancing parochial income (4), preaching effectively (5), administering the sacraments (6), and advising on personal and social behavior (7 and 8). Throughout, the tales and commentaries that deal with the church and clergy are analyzed under such rubrics as derivation, structure and historical accuracy. Pauli's creativity and independence are considered in the final chapter (9).
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Pearsall, Arlene Epp
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9136701
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9136701

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