Session 1316: Magic and Divination
Wednesday 15 July 2009, 16.30-18.00
|Moderator/Chair:||Iona McCleery, Institute for Medieval Studies / School of History, University of Leeds|
|Paper 1316-a||Literary Representations of Saints and Witches, 1200-1500|
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Middle English, Sexuality
|Paper 1316-b||The femina malefica and Alanus de Insulis|
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Latin
From Augustine to the end of the Middle Ages with the emergence of witchcraft as a focus in the logic of persecution, magic and divination play a central role in discourses about orthodoxy, knowledge, and the relation between the physical and supernatural world. The papers in this session explore key themes in representation and debate from a range of geographical and historical contexts.
The paper will begin with an outline of the role of spiritual discernment to the acceptance or vilification of medieval holy women and its’ contribution to the gradual criminalization of female piety. Figures such as Catherine of Siena, Margery Kempe and Joan of Arc will be considered. The paper will demonstrate that the decline of female piety in the 15th century was influenced by and in turn influenced the image of the witch.