AUC Theologica is a peer-reviewed journal for theology published twice a year. As we publish original papers in English, German, French, and Italian, our mission is to serve as a platform both for Czech researchers, who can present their research results in these languages, and for international contributors, who are invited to enter the academic theological discussion in the heart of Europe.

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AUC THEOLOGICA, Vol 10 No 2 (2020), 123–139

‘Adam lay ybounden’: A Marian Felix Culpa

Frank G. Bosman

announced: 02. 02. 2021


The 15th-century poem ‘Adam lay ybounden’ presents a ‘folk version’ of the paradoxical theology of the notion of felix culpa, Adam’s ‘happy fault’ by which the Incarnation of God in Jesus of Nazareth was unintentionally provoked. The poem is simple in its vocabulary, but elaborate in its invocation of theological notions such as the descensus Christi as inferos, the felix culpa and the necessarium Adae peccatum, both from the Easter prayer of the ‘Exsultet,’ focussing on the role of Mary within the economy of salvation rather than on Christ’s. While having been researched only fragmentarily in the past, in this article, the theological content of this poem is analysed integrally for the first time.

keywords: Adam lay ybounden; Middle-English poetry; Mariology; Felix culpa; Descensus Christi ad inferos; Forbidden fruit; Primordial sin

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‘Adam lay ybounden’: A Marian Felix Culpa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

148 x 210 mm
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ISSN: 1804-5588
E-ISSN: 2336-3398