The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries are considered the golden age of preaching in medieval England. The Latin sermons edited and translated in this volume, preached by Robert Rypon (c. 1350-1421/22) and collected in a single manuscript, are both representative and exceptional instances of the preaching during this period. Rypon was an English Benedictine monk educated at Oxford and a member of Durham priory, where he served a number of important roles. He preached regularly not only to his monastic community but to lay and clerical audiences at Durham cathedral and in parishes around Durham and Northumbria. Many of his analogies, metaphors, and exempla are original or distinctive in their development, but he applies all of them to traditional homiletic concerns, such as the seven deadly sins, the acts of mercy, the theological virtues, the Ten Commandments, prayer, and penance. He also artfully employs the complex scholastic sermon form popular with preachers trained at the universities. His sermons open a window onto the world of preaching and the religious culture of late medieval England.
This volume includes a selection of sermons preached on various Sundays and other feast days during the liturgical year, along with seven sermons preached on saints' days, which include the feasts for John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, and Oswald, the seventh-century king of Northumbria. The second volume will include a selection of sermons preached during Lent.