The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy

TitleThe Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBlackwood, S
Ancient AuthorsBoethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (OCD)
Series TitleOxford Early Christian Studies
Number of Pages368 pp.
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN9780198718314 (hbk)

Throughout Antiquity and the Middle Ages, literature was read with the ear as much as with the eye: silent reading was the exception; audible reading, the norm. This highly original book shows that Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy - one of the most widely-read texts in Western history - aims to affect the listener through the designs of its rhythmic sound. Stephen Blackwood argues that the Consolation's metres are arranged in patterns that have a therapeutic and liturgical purpose: as a bodily mediation of the text's consolation, these rhythmic patterns enable the listener to discern the eternal in the motion of time. The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy vividly explores how in this acoustic encounter with the text philosophy becomes a lived reality, and reading a kind of prayer. []


BMCR 2016.01.20 Melinda Nielsen; Journal of Early Christian Studies 2018 26 (1): 143-145 Barbara Wyman and Scott Goins

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