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Calendars and Chronology: Temporal Devotion in Fifteenth-Century Leuven

Calendars and Chronology: Temporal Devotion in Fifteenth-Century Leuven

Chapter:
(p.132) Chapter Five Calendars and Chronology: Temporal Devotion in Fifteenth-Century Leuven
Source:
The Fullness of Time
Author(s):
Matthew S. Champion
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226514826.003.0006

This chapter situates works on time by the Leuven professor of theology, Peter de Rivo, alongside the readers and copiers of his work at the Priory of Bethleem at Herent, a monastic house with strong links to the Windesheim Congregation and the devotio moderna. How did de Rivo construct his unique view of time, and how was this received by his largely monastic readers? The chapter argues that De Rivo’s work is best understood alongside the construction of a reformed ‘liturgical self’, a master and measurer of the temporalities of the liturgy. It commences by examining Peter’s monumental manuscript Monotessaron, a radical and innovative harmonization of the four Gospels. It then considers de Rivo’s work on calendar reform, starting with his polemical work against the theologian and astronomer Paul of Middelburg, and moving to the first examination of a newly-discovered work by de Rivo, the Reformatio kalendarii (‘The Reform of the Calendar’). The chapter concludes by analysing a set of startling devotional woodcuts included in Peter’s polemical work, the Opus responsivum, that ties together precise reflection on the chronology of Christ’s life with devotional practices of image production and seeing.

Keywords:   time, Leuven, Peter de Rivo, calendar, Monotessaron, woodcut, gospel harmony, devotio moderna, liturgy, devotion

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