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IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 1012: Magic, Emotion, and the Mind

Wednesday 12 July 2006, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Societas Magica
Organiser:Catherine Rider, Christ's College, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Sophie L. Page, Department of History, University College London
Paper 1012-aMagic and Emotion in 13th-Century Pastoral Manuals
(Language: English)
Catherine Rider, Christ's College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Daily Life, Ecclesiastical History, Lay Piety, Mentalities
Paper 1012-bThe Mentally Incapacitated as the Key to Unlocking the Connection between the Mind and the Soul in Late Medieval England
(Language: English)
Wendy J. Turner, Department of History, Anthropology & Philosophy, Augusta State University, Georgia
Index terms: Medicine, Mentalities, Science
Paper 1012-cPains, Plagues, and Prayerbooks in Late Medieval Flanders
(Language: English)
Kathryn M. Rudy, Warburg Institute, University of London
Index terms: Art History - General, Lay Piety

This session will explore the relationship between magic and various emotional and mental states as it appears in a range of medieval texts. Recent writing on love magic has emphasized how love affairs deemed excessive or appropriate might be blamed on magic, and the first paper will examine whether medieval churchmen saw magic in general as a gesture designed to relieve emotional crises. The second paper will focus on how magic was thought to influence a person’s mental state, as one of many responses to mental illness.

Abstract paper -c: Around 1445, a Flemish couple named Rombout and Christina commissioned a prayerbook bearing their portraits, plus twenty miniatures from the Gold Scrolls Group—many of them of unprecedented iconography—and rhyming prayers in the vernacular. In addition to some regular texts and images, such as the Hours of the Virgin, the codex contains extra 'supernatural' texts to ward off the bubonic plague, or to heal its victims once they had contracted the disease.

This codex testifies to a shift toward a new function for a prayer book, away from concerns about the afterlife and salvation, and the intermediary roles of the saints, toward concerns with the here and now, with physical protection and bodily comfort. This highly illustrated paper analyzes this shift and will present many unpublished examples.