Liturgical Time in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

Meditated, Measured and Manipulated

in Critical Survey
Author:
Alireza Mahdipour Urmia University and University of Isfahan, Iran alireza.mahdipour@gmail.com

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Hossein Pirnajmuddin University of Isfahan, Iran pirnajmuddin@fgn.ui.ac.ir

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Pyeaam Abbasi University of Isfahan, Iran abbasi@fgn.ui.ac.ir

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Abstract

Liturgies are communal in nature, and in the context of the medieval Christian economy of time they are developed and utilised to quantify, consecrate, control, utilise and unify time for the comprehensive end of the welfare of the society, both in the Here and in the Here-after. The liturgy was a social institution, and functioned for anniversaries, holy days, holidays and rituals that were the means of medieval social integrity. In the economy of socio-political and ethical life, the medieval Church linked the sacred to the secular by means of the liturgy. They were used for meditation, as well as a measurement of time, and arguably they were manipulated to parody or satirise the strictly hierarchal estates of the medieval society. Though one of the least liturgical books of his time, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is framed by the liturgical institution of the pilgrimage. Actually a pilgrim travelogue, it depicts the secularisation of liturgy and its appropriation for social control, and paradoxically, a carnivalesque celebration of the reversal of social hierarchy.

Contributor Notes

Alireza Mahdipour is a lecturer at Urmia University, Urmia, and a PhD student at the University of Isfahan. He writes stories and translates classical English poetry. His translation of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales into Persian verse form and several of Shakespeare's plays are published in Iran. He has published Reading between the Paragraphs, a book on teaching how to read short stories (VDM Verlag, 2009), and a collection of short stories, Waking Nightmares (AuthorHouse, 2009). Email: alireza.mahdipour@gmail.com; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7413-6291

Hossein Pirnajmuddin is an associate professor of English literature at the University of Isfahan, Iran. His interests include Renaissance literature, literary theory, English fiction and translation studies. ‘Unnatural Narratives in Sam Shepard's Mad Dog Blues’ (2019) and ‘Don DeLillo's White Noise: A Virilian Perspective’ (2019) are among his recent publications. Email: pirnajmuddin@fgn.ui.ac.ir

Pyeaam Abbasi is an associate professor of English literature at the University of Isfahan, Iran. He currently teaches English literature and continues to work on nineteenth-century English and American literature, and postcolonial literature. Two of his recent publications are ‘Coleridge's Desire for Other Jouissance: A Lacanian Reading of Kubla Khan’ (2018) and ‘Closure in J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace: A Cognitive Approach’ (2019). Email: abbasi@fgn.ui.ac.ir

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