Session Title

Sensory Experiences of Thomas Aquinas's Saintly Presence in Dominican Liturgy II

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Touching, Tasting, Hearing, Seeing and Smelling : Sensory Experiences in the Feasts of St Thomas Aquinas (KONE Foundation); Turku Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Organizer Name

Marika Räsänen

Organizer Affiliation

Turun Yliopisto

Presider Name

Éric Palazzo

Presider Affiliation

Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CESCM)

Paper Title 1

Sensing the Saint through Liturgy and Prayer

Presenter 1 Name

Marika Räsänen

Paper Title 2

Language, Meter, and Meaning in the Memorial Liturgies of Thomas Aquinas

Presenter 2 Name

Seppo Heikkinen

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Helsingin Yliopisto

Paper Title 3

Music and Modality in the Memorial Officies of Thomas Aquinas

Presenter 3 Name

Hilkka-Liisa Vuori

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Vox Silentia

Start Date

11-5-2018 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1130

Description

The session focuses on one of the main features of a saint’s liturgy: making his or her presence real and active during the services of the Office. The presence of a saint was a notion that was central in elaborating the relationship between a saint, especially when he or she was a newcomer, and his or her folk. The presence should also be something that the saint him- or herself wanted. The perception of the presence of a saint was important per se; it was affective, comforting and protective but through the sensory experiences the audience was also vulnerable to more political charged messages.

In Thomas’s liturgical Offices, which are proposed to be at the centre of the analyses of the session, the presence of Thomas can be sensed by ears, eyes, nose, mouth and touch, and through such feelings as darkness and deepness, doubts, and joy. The participants are invited to explore how the liturgical melodies and texts were in the core of experiencing the presence of the saint. The session would like to elaborate the discussion on mode of a chant and the metrical structure as the key elements to interpret the sensual or emotional meanings the melodies and the texts conveyed in the Dominican church spaces. It also invites to discuss the power of emotionally loaded liturgy in transmitting political as well as religious ideologies. Altogether, the session proposes the necessity of analysing the cults of saints using liturgical sources through multidisciplinary gaze, especially when trying to recapture the emotions and experiences of medieval lay people.

Marika Räsänen

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May 11th, 10:00 AM

Sensory Experiences of Thomas Aquinas's Saintly Presence in Dominican Liturgy II

Schneider 1130

The session focuses on one of the main features of a saint’s liturgy: making his or her presence real and active during the services of the Office. The presence of a saint was a notion that was central in elaborating the relationship between a saint, especially when he or she was a newcomer, and his or her folk. The presence should also be something that the saint him- or herself wanted. The perception of the presence of a saint was important per se; it was affective, comforting and protective but through the sensory experiences the audience was also vulnerable to more political charged messages.

In Thomas’s liturgical Offices, which are proposed to be at the centre of the analyses of the session, the presence of Thomas can be sensed by ears, eyes, nose, mouth and touch, and through such feelings as darkness and deepness, doubts, and joy. The participants are invited to explore how the liturgical melodies and texts were in the core of experiencing the presence of the saint. The session would like to elaborate the discussion on mode of a chant and the metrical structure as the key elements to interpret the sensual or emotional meanings the melodies and the texts conveyed in the Dominican church spaces. It also invites to discuss the power of emotionally loaded liturgy in transmitting political as well as religious ideologies. Altogether, the session proposes the necessity of analysing the cults of saints using liturgical sources through multidisciplinary gaze, especially when trying to recapture the emotions and experiences of medieval lay people.

Marika Räsänen