SFB 1369 Cultures of vigilance

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Vigilance and Attentiveness. The Literary Dynamics of Self-Observation and the Observation of Others in German Poetry in the Middle Ages

teilbereich_198x149px_c01Project C01

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Beate Kellner; Prof. Dr. Susanne Reichlin


Magdalena Butz; Agnes Rugel

Project Description

As a starting point, this project uses the hypothesis that vernacular religious literature incorporated, discussed and modified the significant transformation of ideas relating to repentance and atonement in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in a specific fashion.

Literary texts not only served as spaces of debate and inspiration for theological teachings, but also created practices of introspection and actively shaped assumptions about Godly observation.

The project aims, firstly, to investigate how sinners modify their own observations and the directions these observations take. The second aim is to analyse how the specific nature of poetic texts motivates individuals to be constantly vigilant, and how the duration and intensity of this vigilance is purposefully moulded and modified.  Thirdly, the project will explore more closely how views on acts of vigilance can vary and oscillate (tiresome duty vs. a chance at salvation).