By Brian Murdoch
The subject of Adam's Graceis the interaction of theology and literature throughout a variety of genres and vernaculars: specifically, using medieval literary texts to provide an explanation for the stability of the autumn and Redemption, the universality of unique sin, and the id of mankind with its first mom and dad, Adam and Eve. the method starts with the Christian culture of apocryphal Adam-lives, which continue to exist and strengthen in lots of vernaculars. Later, Adam is used as a literary version, on whom many recognized Christian figures of the center a long time - knights, popes, emperors, kings and saints - should be obvious to be dependent. They comprise Gregorius, the `medieval Oedipus', whose case demonstrates the solution of the anomaly of the felix culpa; Parzival, trying to find the Holy Grail and for God within the opposed international into which he has been ejected; and the numerous medieval figures (literary or even historic) linked to the legends of leprosy, blood and therapeutic which replicate the sacrifice within the Redemption. The final a part of the booklet seems to be on the drama, firstly the medieval representations of the autumn and the fervour, after which the quite diversified portrayal of Adam on degree within the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation.
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Additional info for Adam's Grace: Fall and Redemption in Medieval Literature
Chapter XX, pp. 143–9 describes the penance. Israel Lévi, ‘Éléments Chrétiens dans le Pirke Rabbi Eliezer’, Revue des études Juives 18 (1889), 83–9, esp. pp. 86–9, takes the passage as Christian. Reference to the Gihon is only found in this work. 19 Lines 1189–91 of the Middle English Canticum de Creatione (see below, note 43). It is discussed by Friedrich Bachmann, Die beiden Versionen des mittelenglischen Canticum de creatione (Hamburg: Lütcke and Wulff, 1891 = Diss. Rostock), p. 43, although Bachmann sensibly only concludes from it that the source of the English work was a Latin one.
In Low German see Arnold Immessen, Der Sündenfall, ed. Friedrich Krage (Heidelberg: Winter, 1913), and on his text, see Ludwig Wolff, Arnold Immessen (Einbeck: Geschichtsverein, 1964) and my entry ‘Immessen’, in Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters, Verfasserlexikon, 2nd edn by Kurt Ruh (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1977–), IV, 366–8. Immessen’s work can be related to a Low German metrical version of the Holy Rood legend: Dat boec van den houte, ed. Lars Hermodsson (Uppsala: Lundequist, 1959). See below, notes 45 and 69, for references to the English Cursor Mundi and to Jans Enikel.
Thus the non-biblical apple from the tree of knowledge, a pun on the Latin word for ‘evil’, has established itself very thoroughly indeed. The theological question of why the Fall happened at all has even been answered without reference to the Redemption. Of the various collections in and after the twelfth century of so-called Salernitan Questions, addressing largely 4 James E. Cross and Thomas D. Hill, The Prose Solomon and Saturn (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982), pp. 67–76 has a great number of similar details.