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Döden dikterar:  En studie av likpredikningar och gravtal från 1600- och 1700-talen
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
1998 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Death Dictates : A Study of Funeral Sermons and Funeral Speeches of the 17th and 18th Centuries (English)
Abstract [en]

Swedish funeral customs during the 17th and 18th centuries were very elaborate. An important element of these customs was eloquence expressed in the form of funeral sermons and funeral speeches. These were not only delivered orally, but they were often printed and, consequently, constitute an important part of the great wealth of 17th and 18th century occasional literature.

This is a genre study of so-called sepulchral rhetoric, whose aim is to identify and define the two genres of funeral sermons and funeral speeches. The method used is interpretative close-reading, focussing on rhetoric, of a corpus of texts from the 17th and 18th centuries.

It is an intricate problem differentiating between funeral sermons and funeral speeches. The funeral sermons are analysed structurally, functionally and semantically. One of the main results of these analyses is that the different textual parts of the funeral sermons all express religious meaning, not just the part constituting the actual funeral sermon. The funeral speeches, on the other hand, may, unlike funeral sermons, also be delivered by a layman. The funeral speeches are categorised into two main types: religious funeral speeches and secular funeral speeches. These are then further differentiated into sub-categories. It is, however, stressed that the categories should be regarded as situated on a cline, rather than as strictly polarised entities.

A textsociological observation aiding the analysis of late 18th century sepulchral rhetoric is that printed funeral sermons at this time were primarily dedicated to deceased priests and their family members.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Atlantis , 1998. , 444 p.
Keyword [en]
Sepulchral rhetoric, funeral sermons, funeral speeches, occasional literature, genre, stylistics
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62498ISBN: 91-7486-676-1OAI: diva2:442333
Public defence
1998-10-16, 13:00
Available from: 2011-09-21 Created: 2011-09-21 Last updated: 2011-09-21Bibliographically approved

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Stenberg, Göran
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