Session Title

Semiotics of Physicality: Medical-Religious Knowledge and Practice in Late-Medieval Literature

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Christie-Anne Putnam

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Colorado-Boulder

Presider Name

Nancy Bradley Warren

Presider Affiliation

Texas A&M Univ.

Paper Title 1

Piers Medicus: The Medical-Mystical Metaphor in Langland's Piers Plowman

Presenter 1 Name

Christie-Anne Putnam

Paper Title 2

Medicina Iesus: The Function of Medicine in a Late Medieval Sermon Cycle

Presenter 2 Name

Virginia Langum

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Umea Univ.

Paper Title 3

Speaking of Miracles: The Language of Disease in the Canonization and Cult of Saint Vincent Ferrer

Presenter 3 Name

Laura Ackerman Smoller

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Arkansas-Little Rock

Start Date

8-5-2014 7:30 PM

Session Location

Bernhard 212

Description

The field of medieval medical research has exploded in the last decade. More and more literary scholars are turning their attention to medical texts and practices, tracing the spread of knowledge and the everyday activities of practitioners. While much of this search has overlapped with the study of medieval religiosity, especially in relation to monastic environments, the results of such research has tended to restrict the signification of medical/religious blending, relegating the medical to mere metaphor in lieu of a dominant, doxic system of religious power. While metaphorical signification of medical practices exists in such religious texts and even hybrid literary ones, like Langland’s Piers Plowman, the medical terminology and praxis demonstrated in such late-medieval texts move beyond mere metaphor, entering a literal, embodied space, where signs do not point upwards, solely, towards a godhead, but more strongly target an embodied ecstasy, located in the realm of the medical-religious. This panel seeks to open up the avenue of inquiry and discussion in the cross-section of medical terminology and signification in religious frameworks. Example papers could interrogate the presence of medicine in religious and/or literary texts.

Christie-Anne Putnam

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May 8th, 7:30 PM

Semiotics of Physicality: Medical-Religious Knowledge and Practice in Late-Medieval Literature

Bernhard 212

The field of medieval medical research has exploded in the last decade. More and more literary scholars are turning their attention to medical texts and practices, tracing the spread of knowledge and the everyday activities of practitioners. While much of this search has overlapped with the study of medieval religiosity, especially in relation to monastic environments, the results of such research has tended to restrict the signification of medical/religious blending, relegating the medical to mere metaphor in lieu of a dominant, doxic system of religious power. While metaphorical signification of medical practices exists in such religious texts and even hybrid literary ones, like Langland’s Piers Plowman, the medical terminology and praxis demonstrated in such late-medieval texts move beyond mere metaphor, entering a literal, embodied space, where signs do not point upwards, solely, towards a godhead, but more strongly target an embodied ecstasy, located in the realm of the medical-religious. This panel seeks to open up the avenue of inquiry and discussion in the cross-section of medical terminology and signification in religious frameworks. Example papers could interrogate the presence of medicine in religious and/or literary texts.

Christie-Anne Putnam