IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 128: Marking the Body: (Re)Defining Stigmata in Terms of Orthodoxy and Heresy in the Late Medieval Tradition

Monday 13 July 2009, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Michelle M. Sauer, Department of English, University of North Dakota
Moderator/Chair:Paul Chandler, Institutum Carmelitanum, Roma / Melbourne College of Divinity
Paper 128-aGadding about with the Devil: The Anchoress Christina Carpenter and the Bishop's Expedient Recourse to the Heterodox
(Language: English)
Liz Herbert McAvoy, Department of English Language & Literature, Swansea University
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Religious Life, Sexuality
Paper 128-bPenetrating the Body of Christ: The Church and Affective Piety
(Language: English)
Susannah Chewning, Department of English, Union County College, New Jersey
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Religious Life, Theology
Paper 128-cLooking, Probing, Watching: The Stigmata and Elizabeth of Spalbeek
(Language: English)
Jennifer Brown, Department of English, Marymount Manhattan College, New York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Paper 128-dWriting the Marked Body: The Stigmatic Discourse of Magdalena von Freiburg
(Language: English)
Michelle M. Sauer, Department of English, University of North Dakota
Index terms: Language and Literature - German, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Abstract

The late Middle Ages was a time of increasing suspicion regarding religious phenomenon. In this world, the stigmata and other bodily markings provided signs of bodily identification with the suffering Christ and became convincing pledges of mystical union. These markers provided tangible evidence of true faith and potential sanctity – or did they?

This session will examine the varieties of bodily markings – stigmata – and the effect they had upon the lives of those who experienced the phenomenon as visionary and as audience. What did it mean to have a stigmatic in the midst of a community? How does stigmata compare to ascetic devotion? Can the body be redeemed through marking?