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To Cast the First Stone$
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Jennifer Knust and Tommy Wasserman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169880

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169880.001.0001

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Telling Stories in Church

Telling Stories in Church

The Early Medieval Liturgy and the Reception of the Pericope Adulterae

Chapter:
(p.307) 8 Telling Stories in Church
Source:
To Cast the First Stone
Author(s):

Jennifer Knust

Tommy Wasserman

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691169880.003.0009

This chapter discusses the divergent liturgical history of the pericope adulterae. Assigned to the third Saturday of Lent in Rome, the story gained even greater prominence in Latin contexts, particularly during the Carolingian and Ottonian periods. Carolingian biblical reform preserved and promulgated the Roman stational liturgy, Jerome's Vulgate, and also the pericope adulterae, which was featured in an imperial-sponsored homiliary and depicted in luxurious copies of the Gospels. The story was comparatively peripheral in Byzantine contexts, yet it was incorporated in this context as well. Featured as a lection on the feast days of female sinner saints and read in penitential contexts, the story was readily accepted within earlier traditions about repentant prostitutes and the mercy Christ extends. Liturgical reading guaranteed that the pericope would be remembered in both contexts, albeit differently.

Keywords:   pericope adulterae, liturgy, Carolingian period, Ottonian period, Gospels, female sinner saints, repentant prostitutes, liturgical reading

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