The genre of Ancrene Wisse

Millett, Bella (2003) The genre of Ancrene Wisse In, Wada, Yoko (eds.) A Companion to Ancrene Wisse. Woodbridge, Boydell & Brewer pp. 29-44.


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The chapter addresses the question of whether Ancrene Wisse can be described as a 'rule'. 'There is no doubt that the author drew both his overall structure and much of his content from a medieval tradition of anchoritic and monastic legislation; but these parallels in structure are not matched by a parallel in function. The prescriptions of the "Outer Rule" are advisory, not mandatory, and the "Inner Rule" has only divine, not human, authority'. The 'Outer Rule' could be more accurately described as a 'customary'; the 'Inner Rule' 'shares no distinctive features with the 'rule' as a genre, and could even be seen, to some extent, as defined in opposition to it; its main debt is to other genres of religious writing.'

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 0859917622 (print)
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ePrint ID: 28921
Date :
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Date Deposited: 18 May 2006
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 22:24
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