Silence and Sign Language in Medieval Monasticism: The Cluniac Tradition, c.900-1200 (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series)

Silence and Sign Language in Medieval Monasticism: The Cluniac Tradition, c.900-1200 (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series)

Scott G. Bruce


Silence and signal Language in Medieval Monasticism explores the rationales for spiritual silence in early medieval abbeys and using nonverbal kinds of verbal exchange between priests while ideas of silence forbade them from talking. After studying the religious merits of private silence as a sort of defense opposed to the perils of sinful discourse in early monastic concept, this paintings exhibits how the priests of the Abbey of Cluny (founded in 910 in Burgundy) have been the 1st to hire a silent language of meaning-specific hand symptoms that allowed them to show particular details with no recourse to spoken phrases. Scott Bruce discusses the linguistic personality of the Cluniac signal language, its imperative position within the education of beginners, the precautions taken to avoid its abuse, and the common adoption of this practice in different abbeys all through Europe, which led to the production of locally particular idioms of this silent language.

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