IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 114: Rule-Breaking Saints, Cults, and Hagiography

Monday 9 July 2012, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Hagiography Society
Organiser:Anne E. Bailey, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Helen Birkett, Department of History, University of Exeter
Paper 114-aRule-Breaking in Literary Portrayals of Death in Anglo-Saxon Hagiography
(Language: English)
Jennifer Key, School of English, University of St Andrews
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Old English
Paper 114-bSt Symeon Metaphrastes: A Scholar Invades Sainthood
(Language: English)
Elizabeth A. Fisher, Department of Classical & Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Hagiography
Paper 114-cAn Upholder of Ancient Liberties Against a New-Fangled Tyranny: The Cult of 'St' Thomas of Lancaster
(Language: English)
Martin Locker, Institute of Archaeology, University College London
Index terms: Hagiography, Lay Piety

This session continues the conference theme, but with a twist, by looking at accounts of saints and cults that deviated from the unwritten ‘rules’ of hagiography and sainthood. The first paper analyses death motifs in Old English and Anglo-Latin saints’ lives, and considers how we might interpret texts that depart from the usual conventions of saintly death. Turning to ‘deviant’ saints and cults, the second paper examines the unconventional promotion to sainthood of the 10th-century Byzantine scholar and courtier, Symeon the Metaphrast (or ‘Paraphraser’), and the final paper charts the rise and suppression of a political, anti-royal English cult following the execution of Thomas of Lancaster for treason in 1322.