Pietro Delcorno

Junior Core Fellow
Period of Stay: 
October 2018 – June 2019
Medieval studies
University of Leeds, UK / University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Project Title: 
Ordering Knowledge and Shaping Identity: Towards a Systematic Study of Lenten Sermon Collections
Project Abstract: 

This research investigates Lenten preaching as a powerful tool to shape religious identity as well as a key form of ordering and transmitting knowledge. Copied in hundreds of manuscripts and then printed in dozens of editions, Lenten sermon collections represent fascinating microcosms of late-medieval culture, since they both reflected and constructed the religious knowledge of the time. Filling a major gap in scholarship, this research charts the different typologies of sermon collections, both in terms of contents and communicative strategies, and investigates the Lenten sermon collections of Conrad Grütsch and Pelbart of Temesvár, two key fifteenth-century bestsellers largely neglected by scholars. Moreover, the research constitutes a decisive stage towards the ambitious project of creating an interdisciplinary group able to study these texts and their impact in society in a systematic way.