Liest sich so weg? Monastic vs scholastic reading habits

Amongst the medieval literate elite, there were two major methods of reading: monastic and scholastic, each divided into three ‘levels’. Monastic reading consisted of lectio / meditatio / contemplatio – that is: reading / meditation / contemplation. This method was primarily concerned with memorisation and enlightenment through repetition and deep reading (contemplation). To read this way was to know by memory and intimately understand a very few books in their entirety.

Monastic reading was popular in the early Middle Ages (through the 12th century) and, as the name suggests, practiced extensively in monastic communities (male and female alike).

Scholastic reading appears in the 13th century and proliferates in universities, growing in popularity throughout the late Middle Ages. It comprised of legere / disputare / praedicare, or: reading / discussing / presenting. The emphasis here was on a person’s capacity to read widely and to be able to pull choice quotes from important to use in intellectual debates (disputatio) or lectures.

europeana: Monastic vs Scholastic Reading Habits in the Medieval Age (Hannah Johnson (Bibliothèque nationale de France))


Und was, wenn die Wunde niemals heilt?

Wir bringen Kinder auf die Welt und können gleichzeitig sagen, wann die Ressourcen wirklich knapp werden. Wir können bestimmte Globalisierungsprozesse zu Ende denken. Und aus diesem Wissen ergibt sich ein Bedrohungspotenzial, das seine Schatten sehr manifest auf unser Leben wirft. Wie schrieb einst der britische Romantiker Lord Byron: „Those that know the most must mourn the deepest. The tree of knowledge is not the tree of life.“ Ist leider so.

Roger Willemsen im Gespräch mit Thomas Macho, Philomag, 2016