Medieval reportationes: hearing and listening to sermons.

Carolyn Muessig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Protestant preaching was known for creating personality cults around many of its preacher and for producing original sermon collections. However, sermons preached by larger than life figures whose pastoral lessons formed the main staple of religious education for the laity is a hallmark of late medieval preaching. Medieval preaching and sermon delivery could be quite different, reflecting the personality of preachers as well as the diversity of the audiences. Just how distinctive preaching events could be is found in sermons that document the interaction between medieval preachers and their specific audiences. These sermons are known as reportationes, that is, sermons written down by a member of the audience as they were delivered by the preacher in the vernacular. Reportationes, therefore, are particularly rich for the details they reveal about sermon presentation and reception. This article examines the reportationes of Bernardino da Siena (d. 1444) in order to demonstrate the aspirations of this late medieval preacher and the responses of his audience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationL’Eloquence de la chair entre écriture et oralité
EditorsCinthia Véronique Meli , Amy Heneveld
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherHonoré Champion
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)ISBN 978-2-7453-4520-2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

This chapter looks at the reportationes of the Italian Franciscan, Bernardino of Siena. It argues that he viewed sermons as having a quasi sacramental status.

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Medieval Studies


  • reportationes, Bernardino of Siena
  • sermons, medieva aurality, literacy


Dive into the research topics of 'Medieval reportationes: hearing and listening to sermons.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this