The Medieval Book of Hours and The Sanctification of Time
Saturday 9 December 2017 10.15–15.30
The Book of Hours was the standard book of popular devotion during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. It enabled the devout laity to follow inwardly the spiritual rhythm of the monasteries, thereby grounding the shifting moods of the soul in a greater sacred time-cycle. At the core of this illustrated prayer book was a sequence of images known as ‘The Hours of the Virgin’. The images focus on the relationship of the Virgin Mary to Christ, and include familiar episodes from both before and after the birth of Christ. These episodes are brought into relationship with the seven Hours of the day and the one Hour in the middle of the night dedicated to the inner life of prayer and meditation.
The two illustrated talks will aim to show that the long-neglected tradition of the Book of Hours still offers a deep and viable meditative path that can both give direction to, and strengthen, our inner life.
Speaker: Jeremy Naydler holds a PhD in Theology and Religious Studies and is author of a number of books on religious life in antiquity and the history of consciousness. He has a long-standing interest in medieval spiritual life and has previously spoken at Fintry on The Seven Deadly Sins and on Dante’s Divine Comedy.