IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 320: Saints in the City, III

Monday 9 July 2007, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:David Stocker, Univeristy of Leeds
Paper 320-aTrading Spaces: The Translation of Saints and the Acquisition of Power in the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman Town
(Language: English)
David Crane, Boston College, Massachusetts
Index terms: Economics - Urban, Lay Piety, Monasticism, Social History
Paper 320-bThe Virgins of Babylon: Elzéar, Delphine, and Urban Cults in 14th-Century Provence
(Language: English)
Katie E. Clark, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Lay Piety, Sexuality
Paper 320-cCapgrave's Katherine of Alexandria: Saint in the City
(Language: English)
Katharine Leigh Geldenhuys, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Middle English

Paper a: This paper will examine the role that the translation of a saint’s body and/or relics, from a rural church or shrine to an urban church, and the subsequent commodification of the saint, played in the development of the economic, religious, and social power of a town in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England. It will also demonstrate how acquiring a saint’s body, and the symbolic power contained therein, was an essential aspect in the geographic centralization of religious authority in a region. Furthermore, this paper will explore the participation of ecclesiastic and secular elites in this process and demonstrate how it was interwoven into the fabric of monastic reform and lay piety.
Paper b: St Elzéar de Sabran and Bl. Delphine de Puimichel were well-heeled aristocrats, vassals of the Angevin kings of Naples, and major Provençal landowners. They were also virgins: married in 1300, they lived in celibate wedlock for 23 years. While only Elzéar’s canonization was succesful, both were venerated as saints. Devotion to Elzéar and Delphine revolved around the dual urban centres of Avignon and Apt, and the story of their canonizations, cults, and monuments shed light both on lay urban devotion and papal attitudes toward sexuality, apocalyticism, and the sacred.
Paper c: John Capgrave wrote his Life of St Katherine of Alexandria in East Anglia in the 1440s. This paper will focus on Capgrave’s hagiographic text and aims to explore his use of space in, and in relation to, the city of Alexandria (as presented in his text) in order to determine the ways in which this use of the spatial aspects of the city contribute to the development of the virgin martyr’s legend. The importance of the city’s population in providing the necessary witnesses to, and role-players in, St Katherine’s life and martyrdom will also be considered briefly. It will thus be shown that Alexandria becomes an integral part of this saint’s legend.