Session Title

Death in the Holy Life

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Jessica Barr

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst

Presider Name

Jessica Barr

Paper Title 1

The Inconvenient Child: Analyzing the Desire for Child Mortality in the Vitae of "Parent-Saints"

Presenter 1 Name

Michaela Granger

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Catholic Univ. of America

Paper Title 2

Mediating Death: Saint Ite and the Abbot

Presenter 2 Name

Dorothy Africa

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Harvard Univ.

Paper Title 3

Death, Interrupted: The Unorthodox Vita of Christina the Astonishing

Presenter 3 Name

Murrielle G. Michaud

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Grande Prairie Regional College

Paper Title 4

Desire in the Vita of Marie d'Oignies

Presenter 4 Name

Mary Anne Gonzales

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Guelph

Start Date

7-5-2020 3:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1135

Description

The execution of Marguerite Porete has been a boon to contemporary scholars, who see in her death the culmination of her apophatic theology of annihilation. But to what extent is this a projection of critics’ desire to create a uniform narrative for her life, or to see her as a proto-feminist hero(ine)? To what extent do modern critics’ desires differ from those of medieval hagiographers, whose assumptions about women’s sanctity informed their representations of their subjects’ deaths? Did medieval saints indeed yearn to die, and what are the implications of this desire—whether it was actual or declared after the fact by overeager hagiographers? What is the meaning of the ways that saints die—especially in contexts where martyrdom was no longer an option? This session of papers will explore representations of mortality and the desire to die both in medieval saints’ Lives and in critical approaches to hagiography. -Jessica Barr

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May 7th, 3:30 PM

Death in the Holy Life

Schneider 1135

The execution of Marguerite Porete has been a boon to contemporary scholars, who see in her death the culmination of her apophatic theology of annihilation. But to what extent is this a projection of critics’ desire to create a uniform narrative for her life, or to see her as a proto-feminist hero(ine)? To what extent do modern critics’ desires differ from those of medieval hagiographers, whose assumptions about women’s sanctity informed their representations of their subjects’ deaths? Did medieval saints indeed yearn to die, and what are the implications of this desire—whether it was actual or declared after the fact by overeager hagiographers? What is the meaning of the ways that saints die—especially in contexts where martyrdom was no longer an option? This session of papers will explore representations of mortality and the desire to die both in medieval saints’ Lives and in critical approaches to hagiography. -Jessica Barr