Adam's Grace: Fall and Redemption in Medieval Literature by Brian Murdoch

By Brian Murdoch

The subject matter of Adam's Graceis the interaction of theology and literature throughout a variety of genres and vernaculars: specifically, using medieval literary texts to provide an explanation for the stability of the autumn and Redemption, the universality of unique sin, and the identification of mankind with its first mom and dad, Adam and Eve. the method starts with the Christian culture of apocryphal Adam-lives, which live to tell the tale and boost in lots of vernaculars. Later, Adam is used as a literary version, on whom many recognized Christian figures of the center a long time - knights, popes, emperors, kings and saints - may be obvious to be dependent. They comprise Gregorius, the `medieval Oedipus', whose case demonstrates the solution of the ambiguity of the felix culpa; Parzival, looking for the Holy Grail and for God within the adverse international into which he has been ejected; and the numerous medieval figures (literary or even old) linked to the legends of leprosy, blood and therapeutic which mirror the sacrifice within the Redemption. The final a part of the e-book seems on the drama, to begin with the medieval representations of the autumn and the fervour, after which the particularly assorted portrayal of Adam on degree within the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation.

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26 See as an early example of a full study of the material Adolfo Mussafia, ‘Sulla leggenda del legno della croce’, Sitzungsberichte der kaiserl. -hist. Cl. 63 (1869), 165–216, but a good modern survey is that by Esther C. Quinn, The Quest of Seth for the Oil of Life (Chicago: University Press, 1962), which includes a full bibliography, including early material. Phil. Phil. , Oxford, 1992). Further: Joseph Szövérffy, Hymns of the Holy Cross (Brookline and Leiden: Brill, 1976) and Angelique M. L.

M. D. Johnson, introducing the Vita in the second volume of James Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, is aware in general terms of the continuity, but confidently lists a number of works in various genres which purportedly derive 30 See for example studies as early as Bachmann’s 1891 Rostock dissertation, Die beiden Versionen, and A. C. Dunstan, ‘Lutwin’s Latin Source’, in German Studies presented to H. G. Fiedler (London, 1938, repr. New York: Books for Libraries, 1969), pp. 160–73, and also his ‘The Middle English Canticum de Creatione and the Latin Vita Adae et Evae’, Anglia 55 (1931), 431–42.

J. L. Gill (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1960), p. 126. 17 ADAM’S GRACE trying to unravel it brings in a whole range of interpretative possibilities based on connotation and pre-knowledge of the Adamic narrative. The basic features are easily picked out: there is a tree, a woman, Adam asleep, a child. ) the woman has just borne a child who might be Adam himself, or Cain, or Christ. That very narrative itself, the fábula, is forgetful, and that there is a human urge towards the apple underscores the inevitability of the Fall.

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