Lecture #4 - February 8th.docx

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St. Michael's College Courses
Jenna Sunkenberg

Lecture #4: Scholasticism Friday, February 8 /2013 th th  Readership moves into this idea of education during the 13 -15 centuries – scholasticism o Readership is formed in relation to the new form of the book or the new form of language, this is how the readership is determined o 300 AD: Augustine, strong emphasis on language and reading and how its affecting society o Slowly, especially as books start developing - in this period of time, we start getting culture developing specifically around education, this was called scholasticism o This whole idea of education around pre-ordained steps  Being able to recite and compare the interpretations of acknowledged authorities and thus becoming a better man o Not about a private understanding of meanings o It’s about a form of reading  Scholasticism-- as a developing ‘readership’ in the 13 -15 centuries- this entails the community of readers that developed around a model of education that sought to teach a ‘proper’ method of reading in order to reveal a text’s ‘proper’ meaning.  Scholasticism as we discussed it is presented quite clearly in the Manguel chapter on ‘Learning to Read’- the primary points being that it was a readership consisting primarily of a privileged class and was not an approach to reading that sought to encourage individualized expression of meaning but objective textual exegesis. And that it is a 'readership' only able to emerge in direct relation to the evolving form of the book.  There is a conceptual framework within which scholasticism developed, namely, that a ‘truth’ of a text can be revealed through an objective method of interpretation- applied in education, this is how you would learn to read in medieval ages  The four-fold interpretation of reading a text for its: o (1) Literal: what does it say, what do the words represent o (2) Allegorical: symbolic, representational meaning o (3) Moral: every time we’re reading, the idea of ethos, becoming a better men, what something represent in terms of moral use for society o (4) Anagogical (religiously orientated): bible, the idea salvation – how that moral understanding affects your religious path  Whenever you read a text, you have this structured ordered approach o It’s not about opening for individual interpretation, its about the idea that there is proper meaning we have to be taught how to find that o This is only one type of reading – only the rich were being educated during this time o This idea of education culture – clergy, pure aristocracy, and then there’s bourgeoisie developing who are all apart of this reading culture – it’s about how to read a book o At the same time there is still an oral culture that is a mixing of morality and literacy (various readerships formed throughout this time)  Is there a conflict when we have an author or poet telling us this how or what reading is? How do you read a text without subjectively interpreting it? o Differs from our previous class discussions on truth as fluid and, in part, subjective  Theory (art, intellectuals) and practice (institutions, everyday life); when we try and look back at history and study, a lot of times we tend to divide society into categories to make sense of things and to objectify things – the reality is that these meet in something called praxis o The world that art gives us (literature) is very much that world, so that when we look at it we can see that there is very much a specific culture present in th
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