Voicing Sin: the confessing voice and the authorial voice in 12th-century German writing
This paper considers a variety of German poetic and pragmatic texts on sin, confession and penance in the light of purported changes to penitential theology in the long 12th century. The focus is on ‘voice’: how written texts recreate spoken (often liturgical) acts; how situations of performance and reception are inscribed into written texts; the poetics of the first-person; communal and individual voices and the problem of what we might term authorial self-awareness.
Sarah Bowden is a lecturer in German at King's. She studied German and Latin at Clare College, Cambridge, where she stayed to take an MPhil and PhD funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Her research is on medieval German literature, culture and thought. She is interested in the development of German as a literary language in 11th and 12th centuries and its relationship with writings in Latin, as well as its influence on the later vernacular literary culture.