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"The Hard Bed Of The Cross": Good Friday Preaching And The Seven Deadly Sins

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Chapter Summary

The use of the seven deadly sins in late-medieval Good Friday sermons reflects a changing conception of sin from external act to internal disposition. In many sermons, the seven deadly sins are used largely rhetorically, rather than doctrinally: where theological points are made, they are made idiosyncratically. The seven deadly sins, a convenient and popular way to categorize sin, offered preachers one tradition on which they could rely to make Christ's suffering immediately present to their congregation. The topos reveals something about the late-medieval conception of sin as something tangible, intrinsically connected to one's own body. Bonaventure presents a static image that encompasses many aspects of the Passion, and this image is connected to one of the seven deadly sins. The topos tells about the late-medieval conception of sin as having a visceral or tangible reality, intrinsically connected to one's physical body.

Keywords: Bonaventure; good friday preaching; seven deadly sins; topos



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