Interdisciplinary Craft: A Response to Peter V. Loewen Lynn T. Ramey, Lynn T. Ramey, and David Strong
The second half of this article responds to no. 39 (below) in the same collection. According to Schirmer, Strong connects sermon and poem by stressing the poetic quality of Bonaventure’s preaching and describing L’s vernacular poetry as a literary sermon. Schirmer feels that, although Strong’s article seamlessly blends literary and homiletic artistry, its reading of PPl presented is “oddly” historicized, in that it concentrates only the B version and ignores Clopper’s “detailed account of [Franciscan] Examplarism [that] relies so productively on the figure of Rechelesness, present only in C” (264). While approving of the connection Strong draws between Franciscan theological and homiletic programs and L’s poetics, Schirmer nonetheless feels that his conclusions about “the craft of delivering ideas” are “transhistorical” and posits that L has a “a very different understanding of ‘craft'” (264, 265). According to Schirmer, in PPl, craft is almost always work, in the sense of labor, rather than the modern idea of artistic craftsmanship deployed by Strong. Laborers and knowledge seekers are allied in the poem, and the work of both is supervised by charity, and thus, the only time Crafte appears an allegorical figure is “to structure the polity of Holy Church” in C.21.256-57 (265). To support this reading, Schirmer also presents a brief reading of craft in Cleanness, which might be in dialogue with PPl on questions of sin and ecclesiastical authority. Thus, Schirmer juxtaposes her “synchronic” historicist reading with Strong’s “diachronic” one to suggest the complementarity of these two methodologies (268).