The Art of Cistercian Persuasion in the Middle Ages and Beyond

Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogue on Miracles and its Reception


Focusing on the theory and practice of Cistercian persuasion, the articles gathered in this volume offer historical, literary critical and anthropological perspectives on Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogus Miraculorum (thirteenth century), the context of its production and other texts directly or indirectly inspired by it. The exempla inserted by Caesarius into a didactic dialogue between a monk and a novice survived for many centuries and travelled across the seas thanks to rewritings and translations into vernacular languages. An accomplished example of the art of persuasion —medieval and early modern— the Dialogus Miraculorum establishes a link not only between the monasteries, the mendicant circles and other religious congregations but also between the Middle Ages and Modernity, the Old and the New World.

Contributors are: Jacques Berlioz, Elisa Brilli, Danièle Dehouve, Pierre-Antoine Fabre, Marie Formarier, Jasmin Margarete Hlatky, Elena Koroleva, Nathalie Luca, Brian Patrick McGuire, Stefano Mula, Marie Anne Polo de Beaulieu, Victoria Smirnova, and Anne-Marie Turcan-Verkerk.

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List of Illustrations
List of Manuscripts Cited
List of Contributors

Marie Anne Polo de Beaulieu, Victoria Smirnova and Jacques Berlioz

The Cistercian Art of ‘Making Believe’ (Faire Croire)
1 The Monk Who Loved to Listen: Trying to Understand Caesarius
Brian Patrick McGuire

In Search of a Cistercian Rhetoric
2 To What Extent Were the Twelfth-Century Cistercians Interested in Rhetorical Treatises?
Anne-Marie Turcan-Verkerk
3 Caesarius of Heisterbach Following the Rules of Rhetoric (Or Not?)
Victoria Smirnova
4 Visual Imagination in Religious Persuasion: Mental Imagery in Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogus miraculorum (VIII, 31)
Marie Formarier

Elaboration and Dissemination of a Narrative Theology
5 Narrative Theology in Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogus miraculorum
Victoria Smirnova
6 Exempla and Historiography. Alberic of Trois-Fontaines’s Reading of Caesarius’s Dialogus miraculorum
Stefano Mula

The Use of the Cistercian Heritage in Dominican Preaching
7 The Making of a New Auctoritas: The Dialogus miraculorum Read and Rewritten by the Dominican Arnold of Liège
Elisa Brili
8 Dialogus miraculorum: The Initial Source of Inspiration for Johannes Gobi the Younger’s Scala coeli?
Marie Anne Polo de Beaulieu

The Dialogus miraculorum in Translation
9 On a Former Mayor of Deventer: Derick van den Wiel, the Devotiomoderna and the Middle Dutch Translation of the Dialogus miraculorum
Jasmin Margarete Hlatky
10 The Dialogus miraculorum in the Light of Its Fifteenth-century German Translation by Johannes Hartlieb
Elena Koroleva
11 Caesarius of Heisterbach in the New Spain (1570–1770)
Danièle Dehouve

Roundtable: “Making Believe. Stories and Persuasion:Continuity, Reconfiguration and Disruption, Thirteenth–Twenty-first Centuries”
12 From Caesarius to Jông Myông-Sôk: A South Korean Exemplum of a Messiah
Nathalie Luca
13 Readings/Lessons of the Exemplum
Pierre-Antoine Fabre

General Index

Researchers and students of medieval history and medieval Latin literature and rhetoric, monastic culture and translation, readers studying the Cistercian exemplum tradition and its transmission and reception.