The Seven Deadly Sins

From Communities to Individuals


Volume Editor:
This volume presents a selection of essays undertaken by participants in an NEH Summer Seminar in 2004 on the topic of the seven deadly sins, viewed individually and as a whole, as part of the Begriffsgeschichte of the Middle Ages and beyond in which concepts are constructed within the cultural milieus in which they function.
The essays in the first part study the political and social ethics of medieval communities. In the second part, the institutional imperatives within the Church of formulating and teaching about the capital vices are the focus of research. In the final section, the contributions deal with ways in which secular artists and authors (in particular, Dante) contribute to the cultural construction of the vices.

Contributors include: Dwight D. Allman, Bridget K. Balint, V. S. Benfell III, Dallas G. Denery II, Laura D. Gelfand, Susan E. Hill, Holly Johnson, Hilaire Kallendorf, John Kitchen, Rhonda L. McDaniel, Richard Newhauser, Thomas Parisi, and Derrick G. Pitard.

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Richard Newhauser, Ph.D. (1986) University of Pennsylvania, is Professor of English and Medieval Studies at Trinity University, San Antonio. He has published extensively on the moral tradition in the Middle Ages, including In the Garden of Evil (Toronto, 2005).
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List of Contributors

Introduction: Cultural Construction and the Vices, Richard Newhauser

1. Sin and the Construction of Carolingian Kingship, Dwight D. Allman
2. Envy in the Intellectual Discourse of the High Middle Ages, Bridget K. Balint
3. ‘The Ooze of Gluttony’: Attitudes towards Food, Eating, and Excess in the Middle Ages, Susan E. Hill

4. Cassian, Nocturnal Emissions, and the Sexuality of Jesus, John Kitchen
5. Pride Goes Before a Fall: Aldhelm’s Practical Application of Gregorian and Cassianic Conceptions of Superbia and the Eight Principal Vices, Rhonda L. McDaniel
6. Biblical Liars and Thirteenth-Century Theologians, Dallas G. Denery II
7. ‘The Hard Bed of the Cross’: Good Friday Preaching and the Seven Deadly Sins, Holly Johnson
8. Dressed to the Sevens, or Sin in Style: Fashion Statements by the Deadly Vices in Spanish Baroque Autos Sacramentales, Hilaire Kallendorf

9. ‘Blessed are they that hunger after justice’: From Vice to Beatitude in Dante’s Purgatorio, V. S. Benfell III
10. Greed and Anti-Fraternalism in Chaucer’s ‘Summoner’s Tale’, Derrick G. Pitard
11. Social Status and Sin: Reading Bosch’s Prado Seven Deadly Sins and Four Last Things Painting, Laura D. Gelfand
12. Freud as Virgil: The Anthropologies of Psychoanalysis and the Commedia, Thomas Parisi

Scholars interested in intellectual history, moral thought, and psychology; medievalists, theologians, Church historians, and art historians; as well as scholars of Bosch, Chaucer, Dante, and Freud.
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