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Evangelium och existens före Luther

Borgehammar, Stephan LU (2016) In Den kommunikativa kyrkan p.111-146
Abstract
The article contains an edition, Swedish translation and study of a fifteenth-century Easter sermon written in Latin at the Birgittine Abbey of Vadstena, in a postil produced for the curate of Björkvik, who, we may presume, used it as a resource when preparing vernacular sermons for his parishioners. The study is not simply an introduction and historical commentary. Rather, it proceeds from the homiletic principles worked out by Bernice Sundkvist in her book, "Evangelium och existens: predikan som helande dialog" ("Gospel and Existence: Preaching as a Healing Dialogue"). It is explicitly an experiment: Sundkvist's principles proceed from the homiletic thought of Martin Luther and primarily envisage Lutheran preaching. Can their application... (More)
The article contains an edition, Swedish translation and study of a fifteenth-century Easter sermon written in Latin at the Birgittine Abbey of Vadstena, in a postil produced for the curate of Björkvik, who, we may presume, used it as a resource when preparing vernacular sermons for his parishioners. The study is not simply an introduction and historical commentary. Rather, it proceeds from the homiletic principles worked out by Bernice Sundkvist in her book, "Evangelium och existens: predikan som helande dialog" ("Gospel and Existence: Preaching as a Healing Dialogue"). It is explicitly an experiment: Sundkvist's principles proceed from the homiletic thought of Martin Luther and primarily envisage Lutheran preaching. Can their application to a pre-Lutheran sermon be meaningful? The study concentrates on this problem, directing attention to what obstacles arise and why. The main results are the following:

1) Sundkvist argues that preaching has a sacramental aspect in Lutheran homiletics, since it makes the salvific work of Jesus Christ present "for us". The medieval sermon is Christocentric, but does not seem to regard itself as having a sacramental quality. Rather, it is conscious of being situated within the sacramental system of the Church, which, taken as a whole, mediates salvation through Christ.

2) A Lutheran sermon should encourage a firm faith in God's promises, particularly the promise of forgiveness for sins. The medieval sermon does not have this emphasis, but presents a God who is both loving and demanding, desiring his children to be not only believers but holy. However, both kinds of sermon offer hope and a means of return to those who have fallen away from faith and/or right living.

3) Dialogue is an important word for Sundkvist: a sermon should in essence be dialogical, articulating the thoughts and questions of the audience. The medieval sermon is, on the contrary, didactic in an authoritarian way. However, this is what was expected of a medieval preacher, serving a God who was commonly thought of as an exalted sovereign. If we look beyond the authoritarian style, we find that the sermon connects in many ways with the daily life of its audience.

The conclusion of the study is that the medieval sermon does transmit the Gospel of salvation by grace and does connect with the existential realities of its audience, but differently, because their existence was different from ours. (Less)
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author
organization
alternative title
Gospel and Existence before Luther
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
preaching, preaching in the Middle Ages, homiletics, Vadstena Abbey, Lutheran theology, ecclesiology, pastoral theology
in
Den kommunikativa kyrkan
editor
Sarelin, Birgitta and Lindfelt, Mikael
pages
36 pages
publisher
Artos & Norma
ISBN
978-91-7580-791-1
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
54873895-c0d9-483e-8efc-d4734c211653
date added to LUP
2016-05-03 12:20:50
date last changed
2016-05-03 13:22:44
@inbook{54873895-c0d9-483e-8efc-d4734c211653,
  abstract     = {The article contains an edition, Swedish translation and study of a fifteenth-century Easter sermon written in Latin at the Birgittine Abbey of Vadstena, in a postil produced for the curate of Björkvik, who, we may presume, used it as a resource when preparing vernacular sermons for his parishioners. The study is not simply an introduction and historical commentary. Rather, it proceeds from the homiletic principles worked out by Bernice Sundkvist in her book, "Evangelium och existens: predikan som helande dialog" ("Gospel and Existence: Preaching as a Healing Dialogue"). It is explicitly an experiment: Sundkvist's principles proceed from the homiletic thought of Martin Luther and primarily envisage Lutheran preaching. Can their application to a pre-Lutheran sermon be meaningful? The study concentrates on this problem, directing attention to what obstacles arise and why. The main results are the following:<br/><br/>1) Sundkvist argues that preaching has a sacramental aspect in Lutheran homiletics, since it makes the salvific work of Jesus Christ present "for us". The medieval sermon is Christocentric, but does not seem to regard itself as having a sacramental quality. Rather, it is conscious of being situated within the sacramental system of the Church, which, taken as a whole, mediates salvation through Christ.<br/><br/>2) A Lutheran sermon should encourage a firm faith in God's promises, particularly the promise of forgiveness for sins. The medieval sermon does not have this emphasis, but presents a God who is both loving and demanding, desiring his children to be not only believers but holy. However, both kinds of sermon offer hope and a means of return to those who have fallen away from faith and/or right living.<br/><br/>3) Dialogue is an important word for Sundkvist: a sermon should in essence be dialogical, articulating the thoughts and questions of the audience. The medieval sermon is, on the contrary, didactic in an authoritarian way. However, this is what was expected of a medieval preacher, serving a God who was commonly thought of as an exalted sovereign. If we look beyond the authoritarian style, we find that the sermon connects in many ways with the daily life of its audience.<br/><br/>The conclusion of the study is that the medieval sermon does transmit the Gospel of salvation by grace and does connect with the existential realities of its audience, but differently, because their existence was different from ours.},
  author       = {Borgehammar, Stephan},
  booktitle    = {Gospel and Existence before Luther},
  editor       = {Sarelin, Birgitta and Lindfelt, Mikael},
  isbn         = {978-91-7580-791-1},
  keyword      = {preaching,preaching in the Middle Ages,homiletics,Vadstena Abbey,Lutheran theology,ecclesiology,pastoral theology},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {111--146},
  publisher    = {Artos & Norma},
  series       = {Den kommunikativa kyrkan},
  title        = {Evangelium och existens före Luther},
  year         = {2016},
}