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Self-fashioning and sanctity in late medieval English mystical literature
Jessica Barr

meditations that these texts are intended to prompt. Using Rolle’s Meditations, the Showings of Julian of Norwich, and The Book of Margery Kempe, I explore the ways in which each text’s narrative persona employs individual experience to establish his or her sanctity and the strategies that the texts use to enable their audiences to follow the models of holiness that they illustrate. Where Rolle’s Meditations is a guide to affective ­contemplation and suggest a narrative perspective that is capable of being inhabited by any reader, Julian and Margery are both concerned – in

in Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain
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Thomas A. Prendergast and Stephanie Trigg

personal (more communal) theory of the past, this makes perfect sense. And we do not advocate a position that absolutely opposes history to memory. But it is well to remember that when the mystics write of their abilities to ‘see’ the past they invariably speak in memorial terms. Julian of Norwich describes how in the eighth shewing her ‘body was fulfillid of feling and mynd [memory] of Crists passion and His deth’. 69 She explains

in Affective medievalism
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

and London: University of California Press, 1987); eadem, Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion (New York: Zone, 1991). F. Beer, Women and Mystical Experience in the Middle Ages (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1992), studies three medieval mystics: Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich and Mechtild of Magdeburg; V. M. Lagario, ‘The medieval Continental women mystics: an introduction’, in P. E. Szarmach (ed.), An Introduction to the Medieval Mystics of Europe: Fourteen Original Essays (New York: State University of New York

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
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The poet and his times
J. J. Anderson

the end of the world is at hand’, but with ‘repent ye and accept God’s will’. Julian of Norwich, writing at about the same time as the Gawain -poet, is able to express a conviction that God is free from anger, that he will see to it that all shall always be well, and that love was his meaning. The message of God’s love is present in Pearl, Cleanness , and Patience too, but the poet shows no confidence that people can grasp it. All they can grasp, so the endings of Pearl and Patience indicate, is the more sombre message of the need to submit themselves to God

in Language and imagination in the Gawain-poems
Suzanne Conklin Akbari

intercessory role is referred to only in a negative sense, in Turpin’s condemnation, which may reflect attitudes toward mediation (whether through images or through saints) during the last decade of the fourteenth century. (Here I disagree with Hardman’s argument that the poem displays ‘a devotion to the Virgin’ (‘Sege’, p. 79).) Nicholas Watson has argued that the short text of Julian of Norwich’s Revelation of Divine Love should be assigned a date after 1400 based on its reflection of contemporary attitudes toward images. See ‘The composition of Julian of Norwich’s

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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Sanctity as literature
Eva von Contzen

themselves as individual, anchored in personal experience. Jessica Barr argues in Chapter 4 that in this context, writers employ literary strategies that centre around a self-consciously fashioned ‘I’ in order to create textual authority (‘Modelling holiness: self-fashioning and sanctity in late-medieval CONTZEN 9780719089701 PRINT (MAD0059) (G).indd 12 01/12/2014 15:34 Introduction 13 English mystical literature’). The strategies associated with these narrative personae engage with contemporary notions of sanctity. As Barr demonstrates, Richard Rolle, Julian of

in Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain
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Calendar time in balade form
Catherine Sanok

work of Richard Rolle, Julian of Norwich, and Margery Kempe, Barr shows us that the mystic’s persona is caught between its historical particularity and its transhistorical, transpersonal status, available to other readers across time and space. Barr brings our attention to the secular, particular, and personal as the domain of feeling in these texts – whether it be Jesus’s sensory apprehensions on the cross or the speaker’s own emotional anguish – and to the transit of this feeling between persons, its availability to the reader as her own feeling. Where Rolle

in Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain
Mary C. Flannery

. Lawes, ‘Psychological Disorder and the Autobiographical Impulse in Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, and Thomas Hoccleve’, in Denis Renevey and Christiania Whitehead (eds), Writing Religious Women: Female Spiritual and Textual Practices in Late Medieval England (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000), pp. 217–43. 47 While the extent to which we should take Hoccleve's autobiographical references at face value remains debatable

in Practising shame
Author: Laura Varnam

The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building, idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English texts.

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Pastoral care in the parish church
Laura Varnam

While the sinful behaviour of the laity does pollute the sanctity of the church, I argue that the cleansing that takes place as a result makes more than a ‘positive contribution to atonement’; it is, paradoxically, a necessity for the sanctity of the church to remain a visible, tangible presence. To return again to Mircea Eliade’s argument, sanctity must be made manifest and that manifestation is effected here by narratives of pollution and disorder.64 Such narratives demonstrate that sin is, to borrow Julian of Norwich’s term, ‘behovabil’ (beneficial or necessary

in The church as sacred space in Middle English literature and culture