Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Johannes Nider: 'Die Vierundzwanzig Goldenen Harfen'. Edition Und Kommentar

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Johannes Nider: 'Die Vierundzwanzig Goldenen Harfen'. Edition Und Kommentar

Article excerpt

Johannes Nider: 'Die vierund^wamrig goldenen Harfen'. Edition und Kommentar, ed. Stefan Abel, Spätmittelalter, Humanismus, Reformation 60 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 201 1). xiii + 746 pp. ISBN 978- 3- 16- 1 50610-9. euro119.00. The Dominican Johannes Nider (d. 1438), professor at me University of Vienna (1422-6) and prior in Nuremberg (1427-9) and Basel (1429-34), is a major figure of the religious movements associated with the Dominican monastic reforms and the Vienna School' (which promoted a form of popular theology known as 'theology of piety' - 'Frömmigkeitstheologie') in the first half of the fifteenth century. His extensive and quite remarkable literary oeuvre, both in Latin (including the Formicarius of 1436-8 and the Praeceptoriutn divinae legis of 1438) and in German (including, in addition to the Vierund%wan%ig goldene Harfen ('24 Golden Harps') edited in this volume, 44 sermons, 21 letters, and a number of short treatises), has a fundamental part to play in the literary history of fifteenth-century Germany: Nider builds on initiatives promoted by Gerson at the beginning of the century, promotes vernacular literacy for the laity in the spirit of the Council of Basel, and points forward to the writings of Johannes Geiler von Kaysersberg, whose Etnas of 1 508 is direcdy indebted to Nider's two main Latin treatises. Today the name of Johannes Nider is well known, but his work is little read, as not one of his major works has been available in a modern edition. Stefan Abel's critical edition of the 'Harps', the most significant of the German writings, is thus a major contribution to our knowledge of the period. …

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