Johannes Nider: Die vierundzwanzig goldenen Harfen
By Stefan Abel
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
759 pages, Illustrated
The ‘Twenty-four Golden Harps‘ (before 1428) - its title alludes to the apocalyptic vision of the Throne of God - is the most successful work by the university teacher and highly influential reformer John Nider (died 1438), in which the Dominican presents a catechetic program for dealing with the perplexities of daily religious life. In accordance with the so-called ‘theology of piety‘ he propagates a ‘monasticized‘ form of life for the laity, especially concentrating on sexual morals.
Originally the work was a series of sermons delivered in Nuremberg, which Nider converted into a cycle of tracts at the behest of women from Nuremberg‘s upper classes. As his major source he refers to John Cassian‘s ‘Collationes patrum‘, but also broadly quotes Henry Suso and other authorities. Abel's work offers the first complete edition of the ‘Harps' accompanied by an extensive commentary that reflects the level of religious knowledge that was propagated by the German Church hierarchy on the eve of the Reformation.
Spatmittelalter, Humanismus, Reformation No. 60
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