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Eloquentia sacra at the Prague University in the Age of Enlightenment

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Präsentation zum Thema: "Eloquentia sacra at the Prague University in the Age of Enlightenment"—  Präsentation transkript:

1 Eloquentia sacra at the Prague University in the Age of Enlightenment
Alena A. Fidlerová Charles University in Prague

2 Enlightenment homiletics in Bohemia
last quarter of 18th cent.-beginning of 19th cent.: almost no scholar attention many important Czech intellectuals publish postils or collections of sermons contemporary critique of „old fashioned“ preaching: vital for the reform of the Catholic Church as envisaged by enlightened intellectuals and for the purposes of popular education discussed and criticised in borchures and periodicals (e.g. Geißel der Prediger, Predigtenkritik or Wöchentliche Wahrheiten für und über die Prediger...)

3 Main focus: Questions: vernacular rhetoric taught at the university
period between the reforms of 1784 and 1805 Questions: could future preachers get knowledge about homiletics (and rhetoric) at the university? which courses could they attend there? which manuals were available to them? who taught them and in which language? which models did the manuals offer, which advice did they provide?

4 Rhetoric at the Faculty of Arts
Lectures and collegia enlightened reforms (first of them 1752, prescribing curriculum and timetable) exerted pressure upon the Jesuits to prolong the period of teaching one subject by the same professor rhetoric: 1762/ Kryštof Žďárský Václav Lachatsch František Schirmer Ignác Cornova (?) lectures on profane (and partly also sacred) rhetoric for philosophy graduates and future students of law and theology taught 1757–1760 by František Mesitzký according to his textbook Apparatus Romanae et vernaculae eloquentiae (1758), in Latin and German

5 Rhetoric as a part of aesthetics (schöne Wissenschaften)
Karl Heinrich Seibt (1735–1806): (since 1784 compulsory): “schöne Wissenschaften” and ethics, comprising also aesthetics, history, pedagogy and German rhetoric and stylistics with practical exercises 1784: Vorlesungen über klassischen Schriftsteller der Alten (1st and 2nd year) August Gottlieb Meissner ( ): : Vorlesungen über die klassischen Schriftsteller der Alten for 1st and 2nd year students extraordinary lecture Die Geschichte der lateinischen Dichtkunst und Beredsamkeit, in ihren blühendſten Epochen, nebſt Proben ihrer vorzüglichsten Meisterstücke (for the 1st year students, at least since 1792) since 1786 collegium Die schönen Wissenchaften, mit Aesthetik, renamed Die Aesthetik mit der Rede- und Dichtkunst for 3rd year students manuscript student notes available

6 Johann Joachim Eschenburg: Entwurf einer Theorie und Literatur der schönen Wissenschaften (1783, 2nd ed. 1789) prescribed as a textbook for aesthetics lectures later recommended to secondary schools (at least till 1816) and as late as in 1829 given to excellent students as a a present from the emperor wide conception of rhetoric at the theory of all prose: „Rhetorik, oder Redekunst, ist also, in diesem Umfange, die ganze Theorie der prosaischen Beredsamkeit.“ part of it: „Rednerische Schreibart“ marginalized by Meissner in his lectures (recorded only in two sets of notes, very briefly: general definition, epistolography)

7 Rhetoric at the Faculty of Theology
as a part of pastoral theology since 1775 in the 5th year, comprising homiletics, practical ethics and church administration (then according to differing length of the study always in the last year) taught by Franz Christian Pittroff (since 1775 in Latin, since 1778 in German): textbook Anteilung zur praktischen Gottes Gelahrheit nach dem Etwurfe der Wiener Studien-Verbesserung ( ) Jiljí (Aegidius) Chládek ( , in Czech) German lectures later taken up by Jan Marian Mika (since 1787) and Franz Xaver Faulhaber (since 1804) since 1806 Latin with Czech and German exercises taught exclusively by Faulhaber (since 1812 only German) : extraordinary lecture by Mika for 2nd year students über praktische Homiletik, since 1798 renamed über praktische Homiletik, und insbesondere über körperliche Beredsamkeit, based on his own textobook

8 Pastoral theology textbooks - Chládek
Jiljí Chládek (1743–1806): Počátkowé Opatrnosti Pastýřské (The Foundations of Pastoral Care, ) not a general rhetoric theory, only its application to homiletics brief, arranged into thematic chapters, clear definitions supplemented with illustrative Latin quotations (Erasmus, Cicero) and polemical remarks (mostly against „Italian and Spanish eloquence“) – ironical, using ridiculous quotations brief history, characteristics of a good preacher, five parts of eloquence (inventio, dispositio, elocutio, memoria, pronunciatio), constituent parts of a sermon (exordium, propositio, divisiono, narratio, confirmatio, applicatio, epilogus)

9 Pastoral theology textbooks - Chládek
to preach means to express the truths of religion in an ordered speech for the spiritual education of the listeners, i. e. for the correction of their reason and will emphasis on truth (provable), educational qualities, general accessibility (no allegories) affects useful, but not necessary; should be used only when the preacher is able to feel them himself tropes and figures were smuggled in by pagan savants, should be used naturally, together with affects mostly in the conclusion qualities of elocution: puritas (purity), perspicuitas (lucidity), ornatus (adornment), congruentia (apropriatness) best models: Church fathers (John Chrysostomos) and Apostles, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Charles Borromeo, Francis de Sales, Johann Ulrich Surgant , Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Louis Bourdaloue, Charles de la Rue, Timoléon Cheminais de Montaigu

10 Pastoral theology textbooks - Giftschütz
Franz Giftschütz: Leitfaden für die in den k. k. Erblanden vorgeschriebenen deutschen Vorlesungen über die Pastoraltheologie (1785) translated into Czech by Václav Stach ( , taught pastoral theology in Olomouc ) - published in general very similar to Chládek, generally the same authors menstioned as models not so well arranged, less didactic, no Latin quotatons, no polemics and ridiculing, more bibliography Sermon: „eine Anrede, die man an eine Versammlung von Christen hält, die, wie man voraussetzt, die ersten Gründe der Religion schon inne haben, um ihre Erkenntniße zu erweitern, und zu befestigen, und ihren Willen zu bessern“

11 Extraordinary lectures on pronunciation
Jan Marian Mika (1754–1816): Anweisung zur körperlichen Beredsamkeit (Prag 1802, 1817) supplementing pastoral theology textbooks (pronunciatio very brief there) the theory of pronunciatio (tone of voice, gesticulation, stress, pauses, face expression, posture etc.) how to express the movements of the soul by body language and voice based on Cicero (De oratore, Brutus, Orator) and Quintilian

12 Conclusion the students could learn at the university about rhetoric
as the theory of prosaic eloquence (according to Eschenburg’s textbook, marginalized in the Meissner’s lectures) applied to preaching within pastoral theology and specific theory of pronunciation classical was of preaching recommended, with stress put on lucidity, veracity and adequacy, but not void of figures, tropes, affects etc. mostly vernacular eloquence taught (German, Czech), based both on vernacular and classical models and their interpretation task: to verify, to which extent the preachers conformed to this ideal

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