NEMLA 2013 Boston
Using and [Re]Fusing The Bible: Revision and Parody in Medieval Britain
What was the value of The Bible in medieval Britain? While the importance of the Bible is typically couched within discussions of the social and literary influence commanded by this ’collection’ of texts, the ‘reworking’ of biblical narrative during the Old and Middle English periods is demonstrated in a wide variety of literary works. Recent considerations and redefinitions of the history of the ’book’ as cultural artifact, as well as theoretical approaches to official and marginal discourse within the history of ideas, offer fertile and provocative possibilities for ’placing’ and ’evaluating’ the Bible as an intellectual construction. The study of the methods and purposes of expanding or paraphrasing biblical narrative speak to the text as ‘inspiration’ and ‘fluid text,’ raising issues of authority and subversion. Likewise, the development and application of literary parodies of biblical material provide possibilities for the analysis and understanding of how cultural context shaped the uses of this text. Additionally, various approaches to the Bible’s thematic content and cultural context permit the evaluation of definitions of heresy, the decentralization of political or religious power, depictions and constructions of the public or private performance of devotion, as well as the development of notions of artistic ownership. Please submit 250-500 word abstracts about the uses of The Bible in medieval Britain to David Pecan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline date September 30, 2012. Visit the NEMLA website at www.nemla.org and search convention 2013 CFP.
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