(B14) Religion in Court Novels

The project ‘Religion in Court Novels’ has set itself the task of focusing on the specifically religious dimensions of the German-language court novel.  Superficially, court culture novels imagine a purely profane world which appears to virtually contrast with contemporary Latin secular literature. But this first glance is misleading. The vernacular novels are spiritually contaminated in a variety of ways and on different textual levels. By asking about a specific secularisation achievement of medieval literature, the project has undertaken to distinctly re-accentuate the appraisal of the court novel. An emancipation thesis, which has long been dominating research – the court novel as a worldly medium of representation of noble laymen –, might more strongly than ever be countered by a participation thesis – the court novel’s programme of salvation, becoming manifest in poetic amalgamations, cannot do without importing Christian mindscapes, preferably in the form of poetic-connotative exploitations of Christian ideative contents.