The Kingdom of Heaven Cannot Be Denied to You Justly Because You Have Fought Correctly: Tracing the Evolution of Ars Moriendi Literature in the Fifteenth Century

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Abstract

This article presents a comparative analysis of three ars moriendi texts written at successive times during the fifteenth century: Jean Gerson’s De arte bene moriendi (ca. 1403), the Speculum artis bene moriendi (2nd quarter 15th c.) and the Picture ars moriendi (3rd quarter 15th century). Focusing on these three successive texts makes it possible to trace the evolution of the ars moriendi genre throughout the fifteenth century. By analysing the interaction and the agency of the ‘stock characters’ (in particular the dying person) in each of the three texts, the article aims to demonstrate that the evolution of the ars moriendi genre in the fifteenth century bears clear testimony to the Late-Medieval shift towards an autonomous approach to death, which arguably underlies the modern, Western attitude towards our own mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligious Practices and Everyday Life in the Long Fifteenth Century (1350-1570) : Interpreting Changes and Changes of Interpretation
Place of publicationTurnhout
PublisherBrepols Publishers
Publication date2022
Pages217-239
ISBN (Print)9782503593555
ISBN (Electronic)9782503593562
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Series New Communities of Interpretation
Volume2

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