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The Courtly Crusade Idiom

The Courtly Crusade Idiom

(p.1) Introduction The Courtly Crusade Idiom
The Subject of Crusade
Marisa Galvez
University of Chicago Press

This introduction argues that lyrical articulations of crusade are essential for understanding "crusade" as a complex historical and cultural phenomenon. It defines the "courtly crusade idiom" and its emergence during a time when the Roman Catholic Church imagined the need to recover the Holy Land as inseparable from the individual and collective moral reform of its believers. The courtly crusader of vernacular literature sought to reconcile competing ideals of earthly love and chivalry with crusade as a penitential pilgrimage. This introduction gives the historical and cultural context of this version of speaking crusades, in which courtly art forms, such as lyric and romance, and material objects, such as manuscripts, effigies, and tapestries, manifest ambivalence about crusade ideals. Finally, it demonstrates how the idiom responds to Foucault's aveu, and how this book as a whole proposes a descriptive historical poetics.

Keywords:   idiom, poetics, avowal, Foucault, ambivalence, crusade, descriptive historical poetics, penitential pilgrimage, chivalry

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