This contribution analyses a corpus of 29 meditative Lives of Jesus, which present a narrative element in a setting of contemplation or prayer. They can be divided into two basic forms: an 'epical' type, in which the subject matter - borrowed from the gospels and the apocrypha - is supplemented with explications meant to arouse devotion but presented as an ongoing narrative, and a type in which the content is articulated according to 'points' or 'hours'. The enormous output of these texts suggests that they were not meant for religious people only, but for the laity as well. It is possible that the two types correspond to two tendencies within late medieval devotional life: the proliferation of structured devotions on the one hand, and the wish to have free access to the complete story of the life and passion of Christ on the other. Both types were well represented in the manuscript period. But on the level of individual texts there is remarkable discontinuity between circulation in manuscript and in print. © 2007 by Spiegel der Letteren.
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||Spiegel der Letteren. Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse literatuurgeschiedenis en voor literatuurwetenschap|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|