Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 7430
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Fulton , Rachel.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Mimetic Devotion, Marian Exegesis, and the Historical Sense of the Song of Songs
  • Source: Viator 27, ( 1996): Pages 85 - 116.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Bible Exegesis- Song of Songs Devotional Literature Liturgy Mary Virgin Saint- Cult
  • Award Note:
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: 12-13
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations: One figure, the illustrated frontispiece from Rupert of Deutz's "Commentaria in Canticum canticorum de incarnatione Domini." It presents the Virgin with child in a mandorla in the upper register, while below Rupert sits writing and Mary instructs him.
  • Table:
  • Abstract: This article argues that the Marian commentaries on the Song of Songs by Honorius Augustudonensis, Rupert of Deutz, Philip of Harvengt, Alan of Lille, William of Newburgh, and Alexander Neckham ought to be considered among the principal indices of the new affective devotion to the Virgin Mary and Christ that developed in western Europe from the late eleventh century. With its origin in the liturgies for the feasts of the Assumption and the Nativity of the Virgin, rather than in the patristic tradition of ecclesiological and tropological exegesis, the Marian sense of the Song was identified with a historical level of interpretation according to which the commentator could transcend time and imagine himself in the sensible presence of the Virgin and Christ. Accordingly, the Song became a vehicle for the mimetic re- creation of the Virgin and Christ's most intimate conversations, and understood both as history and as prophecy, the text enabled the exegete to gaze upon Mary and her Son as if visibly present. This devotional mimesis encouraged the commentators not only to meditate on, but also to experience the evangelical past, rejoicing with Mary at the Annunciation and grieving with her under the cross. [Reproduced by permission of the University of California Press.]
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Chicago
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1996.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00835897