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Preaching and Printing: Early Modes of Mass Communication

Preaching and Printing: Early Modes of Mass Communication

Chapter:
(p.232) Seven Preaching and Printing: Early Modes of Mass Communication
Source:
Why Europe
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226532387.003.0007

This chapter discusses preaching and printing—two significant phenomena of mass communication involving orality and literacy. Medieval preaching tended toward mass communication wherever there were special preaching campaigns. The sermon preaching a Crusade was a decisive turning point in this regard. It not only addressed a large local audience but reached a like-minded public outside that narrower group. Mass communication based on literacy emerged from the replication of written texts. Reproduction using printing techniques, as opposed to copying manuscripts, heralded a revolutionary innovation. China invented printing long before Europe did, and it spread from there to other East Asian countries.

Keywords:   mass communications, orality, literacy, medieval Europe, China

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