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German Research Foundation - Research Scholarship: Conjectured edition of the “Millstätt Collection of Sermons”


Start date: 01.04.2006
Funded by: DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)
Local project leader: Prof. Dr. Freimut Löser

Abstract

The Millstätt Collection of Sermons is one of the last significant and mainly unedited prose texts in Middle High German from the period around 1200. It has been passed down in one handwriting only (around 1200). A complete edition of this unique monument of early German prose has been prevented so far due to changing ownership and the consequences of war. (We have at our disposal 20, respectively 4 prints of 19th century sermons from this collection.) The Millstätt Collection of Sermons containing 66 sermons is the only unedited collection of a whole of 8 large collections of early German sermons which in view of quantitative and qualitative aspects represents a unique corpus of catechist and adhortative text documents in Europe, written in the people’s language from the period around the year 1200. The texts of these early German sermons are sample sermons for use by ministers originating between the years 1170 and 1230 and do not fall under the sermons of the Mendicant Order. As it is documented by numerous passages within the early German sermons as well as by individual handwritings, the target group of early German sermons were readers who were interested in the literature of around the year 1200. Thus, there exists a certain degree of overlapping between the potential recipients of courtly literature and those of early German sermons. The sermons possess a central value with regard to the theological horizon of laymen nobility which has been underestimated as yet. Since the Millstätt sermons contain standard information with respect to catechism and liturgy in sermons for any occasion, the edition of this last unedited text of around the year 1200 represents an urgent research desideratum. The Millstätt sermons have a great significance for understanding the theological knowledge horizon of laymen around the year 1200.