IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1616: Transformations: Views of Health, Death, and Eternity in Late Medieval Netherlandic Culture

Thursday 10 July 2008, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Karine van 't Land, Afdeling Geschiedenis, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen / Bartholomeus Society
Paper 1616-aBathing the Human Body: The Bathing Prescriptions in the Regimen Sanitatis of Magninus Mediolanensis (1335) and its First Dutch Translation Tregement der Ghesontheyt (1514)
(Language: English)
Fabiola I. W. M. van Dam, Department of History, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Index terms: Medicine, Mentalities
Paper 1616-bEnthralled by Death: The Formation of Religious Group Cultures Influenced by the Devotio Moderna in the Late Medieval Southern Low Countries
(Language: English)
Bas Jurriƫn Diemel, Vakgroep Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis, Universiteit Gent
Index terms: Anthropology, Historiography - Medieval, Religious Life, Sermons and Preaching
Paper 1616-cThe Use of Metaphors from the Natural World in 16th-Century Dutch Mystical Sermons
(Language: English)
Huiberdina Ineke Cornet, Department of Church History, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Index terms: Monasticism, Religious Life, Sermons and Preaching, Theology

Paper -a:
Medieval and early-modern Regimina Sanitatis frequently offer instructions about bathing. Analysis of the Tregement der Ghesontheyt, the first Dutch translation of Magninus Mediolanensis’ Regimen Sanitatis (c. 1335), printed by Thomas van der Noot in Brussels (1514), shows that these instructions are to be found in parts of the text that concern the regulation of metabolic processes. My paper explores the language and metaphors found in the bathing instructions of the Tregement der Ghesontheyt. In this paper I will aim to show that these metaphors are part of a set of metaphors for processes of transformations of living matter. This set of metaphors is based on the observation of change in the visible and natural world as formulated in early Greek medicine and natural philosophy.
Paper -b:
Death played an important role in late medieval religious communities. On the one hand, remembrance of the dead created a continuity with the past, because the dead remained part of the group and their live histories set a good example for further generations. On the other hand, there was the constant prospect of one’s own death. Which role did this perception of death play in the creation and continuation of group cultures? Based on both historiographical texts and sermons my paper will explore the way in which different religious communities built their identity through this double perception of death and afterlife.
Paper -c:
In order to describe mystical experiences, many medieval authors made use of metaphors to bridge the gap between the invisible divine reality and the linguistic conception of the finite world perceivable with senses. From an anonymous Dutch sermon collection from the 16th century (KB The Hague no. 133 H 13) metaphors from the natural world are analysed, which were used to depict God, the unity with God, and the mystical process. The theology in these sermons is deeply rooted in the works of several important late medieval mystics such as Eckhart and Ruusbroec, and therefore the metaphors will be explained within the context of the mystical theology from the 14th to the 16th century.