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Imagination in Translation: Love's Myrrour and The Prickynge of Love

Imagination in Translation: Love's Myrrour and The Prickynge of Love

Chapter:
(p.207) Six Imagination in Translation: Love's Myrrour and The Prickynge of Love
Source:
Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle Ages
Author(s):
Michelle Karnes
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226425337.003.0007

This chapter focuses on Middle English translations of the two gospel meditations, that is, the Meditationes vitae Christi and Stimulus amoris. It argues that the translations make substantial changes to their sources, with the effect of limiting the power of imagination. The main aim of the chapter is to mark an end to the period of imaginative meditations that are considered in this book. Imagination's high-level cognitive work started to garner less attention toward the end of the fourteenth century, when imagination became a less pressing concern in universities. The translations considered in this chapter scale back the theological ambition of gospel meditations, reflecting both contemporary philosophical trends and the church's more suspicious attitude toward mystical experience. They accordingly reconfigure imagination, making it consonant with the works' different aims. In these translations, imagination remains useful for meditating on Christ's earthly life, but it no longer provides a bridge to his divinity.

Keywords:   Middle English, gospel meditations, power of imagination, cognitive work, Christ, translations, meditation

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