Early Dominican exempla collections: defining a method of ethical pedagogy

2020-05-19T04:47:57Z (GMT) by Holloway, Anne Michelle
Founded in 1216 in the region of Toulouse, the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) are famous for their engagement in intellectual debates in the universities, for their involvement in the Inquisition of heretics in southern France, and their preaching and role in social reform during the Middle Ages. Arguably they constitute one half of the radical development of mendicancy as a new mode of religious life with the potential to speak to urban audiences and questions. As deeply embedded as they are within the history of the period, the question remains of how to unite the different facets of the Order and their vocation. In this thesis I hypothesise that instead of using the established modes of articulating their preaching, that the early Dominicans instead formulated a method that was suited to the task of developing an ars praedicandi. I take the exempla collections associated with the early Dominican Order and read them as tools of both theory and practice, arguing the exempla and their collections constituted the basis of a particular approach to preaching— what I have termed an ‘ethical pedagogy’ —manifesting the Order’s practical and theoretical engagement with the problems of teaching and preaching right belief and behaviour in the thirteenth century.