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Introduction: Cultural Construction And The Vices

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Chapter Summary

This chapter represents a selection of the research stimulated by my summer seminar on The Seven Deadly Sins as Cultural Constructions in the Middle Ages," which was held at Darwin College, Cambridge University, July 12-August 13, 2004, and was supported by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Cultural communication from the past (word, image, music) is always part of a tradition - by which it is neither wholly determined nor which it can completely discard. Social constructionism" conceives of the objects of its study as something similar to the cultural construction of ideas. The conceptual history of the seven deadly sins participates in the study of the political and social ethics of medieval communities. The chapter focuses on the pastoral and rhetorical appearance of clerical presentations of the sins for homiletic and dramatic purposes on clearly-defined occasions in the liturgical calendar.

Keywords: cultural construction; liturgical calendar; seven deadly sins; social constructionism

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