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The Light of the Soul

The ‘Lumen anime’ and Ulrich Putsch’s ‘Das liecht der sel’

Nigel Harris

This is the first edition of the fourteenth-century Lumen anime C and of its German translation Das liecht der sel, completed in 1426 by Ulrich Putsch, Bishop of Brixen (Bressanone) in the South Tyrol. The two works are theological compendia for use in homiletic and catechetical contexts, and teach their intended readership much about basic Christian doctrine and morality, with a special emphasis on the Virgin Mary. Their didactic method makes particular use of nature exempla and of (frequently spurious) quotations from authorities. Both were highly influential in late-medieval Germany, especially in Austria and Bavaria, but their important role in conveying the insights of late-medieval Catholicism to an increasingly numerous lay audience has yet to be fully appreciated. The present edition should facilitate this and several other necessary re-assessments. Critical texts of the Latin and German versions are printed in parallel. They are preceded by an introduction which offers, for each text in turn, descriptions of its manuscripts, an account of its textual history, and an evaluation of previous research – and, in respect of Das liecht der sel, also covers the biography of Ulrich Putsch.
Contents: The Latin Lumen anime and research into it – Lumen anime A – Lumen anime BLumen anime C – Manuscripts used in this edition and textual criticism – Ulrich Putsch: life and works – Research on Putsch and his Liecht der sel – Manuscripts and textual criticism of Das liecht der sel – Synoptic edition of Lumen anime C and Das liecht der sel.