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Spiritual GrammarGenre and the Saintly Subject in Islam and Christianity$
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F. Dominic Longo

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823275724

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823275724.001.0001

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Gerson’s “Moralized” Primer of Spiritual Grammar

Gerson’s “Moralized” Primer of Spiritual Grammar

(p.81) 3 Gerson’s “Moralized” Primer of Spiritual Grammar
Spiritual Grammar

F. Dominic Longo

Fordham University Press

The chapter is a primer in “spiritual grammar” which provides a close reading of Gerson’s Moralized Grammar(Donatus moralizatus). This theological and literary exposition initiates the reader into how this unusual text’s hybrid genre works. With appreciation of the author’s pastoral agenda and the theological content of the text, this interpretation of Moralized Grammar illuminates the considerable skill involved in transforming into a sermonic moral catechism the grammatical primer written by Aelius Donatus (fl. 350 CE), which was foundational to education for 1000 years in the West. In Moralized Grammar Gerson accomplished a feat of literary creativity for the purpose of crafting a synopsis of the Christian moral and spiritual life that would have been extraordinarily memorable for the growing class of literate Christians of his time. Moralized Grammar is also an example of Gerson’s overall effort to place the Ten Commandments at the center of Christian morality.

Keywords:   Donatus moralizatus, Gerson, Jean, grammar – Christian, grammar – Latin, literary genres – Christian, moral theology – Christian, Ten Commandments – Christian

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