Thomas of Cantimpré: Performative Reading and Pastoral Care

Sweetman, Robert. "Thomas of Cantimpré: Performative Reading and Pastoral Care." In Performance and Transformation: New Approaches to Late Medieval Spirituality, pp. 133-167. Eds. Mary A. Suydam and Joanna E. Ziegler. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

This study uses a typology of reading modes to examine preaching stories included within the “Book of Bees” of Thomas of Cantimpré in order to identify contrasting modes of reading within Thomas of Cantimpré’s own practice. In so doing, it identifies a mode of reading, performative reading, that emerges from the spiritual orientation to existence implicit within “having faith” and its resulting religious practices, one that contrasts with what might be termed “scholarly reading,” that mode in which one reads for information rather than personal transformation.