Session 1012: Magic, Emotion, and the Mind
Wednesday 12 July 2006, 09.00-10.30
|Catherine Rider, Christ's College, University of Cambridge
|Sophie L. Page, Department of History, University College London
|Magic and Emotion in 13th-Century Pastoral Manuals
Index terms: Daily Life, Ecclesiastical History, Lay Piety, Mentalities
|The Mentally Incapacitated as the Key to Unlocking the Connection between the Mind and the Soul in Late Medieval England
Index terms: Medicine, Mentalities, Science
|Pains, Plagues, and Prayerbooks in Late Medieval Flanders
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 This highly illustrated paper analyzes this shift and will present many unpublished examples.