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Zukunftsvorsorge oder die Begegnung mit der Ewigkeit

Meinrads Entscheidung für das Einsiedlerleben in Legende und Heiligenspiel des 16. Jahrhunderts

Cora Dietl

Pages 225 - 240

The article asks about the backgrounds and intentions of narratives depicting the turning points in the life of saints, who decide to change their lives from a ‘good life’ to a ‘better life’. Hereby it discusses the differences between the depiction of St Meinrad’s conversion in the narrative legend by Ulrich Wittwiler and the contemporary play of St Meinrad. Both texts are written under the impression of the Reformation and try to defend the ascetic way of life against Protestant critique. The narrative legend defends the saint’s decision as a well-planned step into a new life expressing the protagonist’s strong faith. The drama paints two conversions: the entry into the monastery is a well-considered, planned decision and promotes similar decisions by the members of the audience. The ‚conversio‘ to the life of a hermit, in contrary, is initiated by a mystic experience. It characterizes the protagonist as exceptional and holy, and it does not foster a replication.


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