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A Companion to The Doctrine of the HertThe Middle English Translation and its Latin and European Contexts$
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Denis Renevey and Christiania Whitehead

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780859898218

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859898218.001.0001

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‘Comfortable Wordis’ – The Role of the Bible in The Doctrine of the Hert1

‘Comfortable Wordis’ – The Role of the Bible in The Doctrine of the Hert1

(p.109) 4 ‘Comfortable Wordis’ – The Role of the Bible in The Doctrine of the Hert1
A Companion to The Doctrine of the Hert

Annie Sutherland

Liverpool University Press

The thirteenth-century Latin treatise De doctrina cordis (The Doctrine of the Hert) emphasises spiritually efficacious language, explicitly equating words that comfort with words that feed. The Middle English version of De doctrina is known for its similar emphasis on words that both comfort and sustain. Both translations also liken God's Word to the sweet sound emitted by chiming silver. Like the vast majority of Christian devotional writing of the Middle Ages, De doctrina is organised around biblical quotation and supporting patristic allusion, and displays overt reliance on the Vulgate text of the Bible. It appears to be more reliant on Old Testament sapiential literature than other contemporary Middle English devotional texts.

Keywords:   sapiential literature, De doctrina cordis, devotional writing, biblical quotation, patristic allusion, Bible, Old Testament

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