Friday, April 26, 2013

Late Medieval Spirituality and...

A Panel Discussion
May 3
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
English Department Lounge, Room 4406

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, University of Pittsburgh 
"Devotion: Minimum Requirements"
--> In this brief paper I consider how the ‘Revelations’ of the illiterate visionary Ermine de Reims (d. 1396) dramatize the acquisition of minimum requirements of devotional practices by what Jean Gerson termed ‘les simples gens.’ Is a pastoral handbook ‘hidden’ in the midst of Ermine’s ‘Revelations’? And how do demonic attempts at sabotaging Ermine’s devotion help to define the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith and their translation into practice?

Andrew Cole, Princeton University
This paper is a start toward answering the questions, “How can we explain Julian of Norwich’s interest in ‘substance’ as a philosophical, theological, and spiritual term? What, if anything, is her relation to the late-medieval scholastic inquiries into substance?”

Kathryn Smith, New York University 
“The Book Within the Book:  Allegorical and Metaphorical Books in Illuminated Manuscripts Made for the Laity”
In this short talk I consider a selection of illuminated religious and devotional manuscripts made c. 1250-1500 for lay owners in which the interrelated notions of the body of Christ as a book, and the book as a mirror of the self, are expressed through innovative visual images and illustrated texts.  These “allegories and metaphors of the book” originated in classical, Hebrew, and early Christian literature and found fulsome expression in monastic writing. The later and late medieval manuscript examples I analyze evince a sophisticated consciousness of these metaphors on the part of the designers and professional artists charged with giving them visual form, as well as the books’ elite, aspirant owners and users.

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