Preacher's Demons : Bernardino of Siena and the Social Underworld of Early Renaissance Italy
by Franco Mormando
Before the printing press, preaching was the most important means of mass communication and persuasion in Europe. Dominicans and Franciscans, the major preaching orders of the period, were influential information disseminators, opinion makers, and power wielders. Franco Mormando's The Preacher's Demons
takes a fascinating look at the enormously popular Franciscan friar Bernardino of Siena.
Mormando, an assistant professor of Italian at Boston College, consciously directs his study to both scholars and the educated public by including introductory information that helps the reader make sense of what Bernardino is saying and doing within the larger realm of the historical period and the theoretical issues in question. Mormando includes numerous excerpts from Bernardino's sermons and contemporary illustrations depicting Bernardino at work.
Preaching Peace in Renaissance Italy : Bernardino of Siena and His Audience
by Cynthia L. Polecritti
, April, 2000, Catholic University of America Press
This study discusses the external forms of peacemaking and the underlying cultural assumptions that made forgiveness so difficult. Because many of Bernardino's remarkable sermons were recorded as he preached, they provide a nuanced picture of the relationship between preacher and audience, and the dynamics of conversion. Students of medieval preaching, Renaissance society, and popular devotion will be especially interested in the issues raised by this study of one of the greatest preachers in Western Catholicism.