IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1204: Joy and Pain: The Role of Suffering and Affliction in Medieval Religious Writing

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Astrid Breith, Deutsche Texte des Mittelalters, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin
Moderator/Chair:Lydia Maria Wegener, Deutsche Texte des Mittelalters, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin
Paper 1204-aAuthorship and Affliction: Hermanus Contractus and Notker Balbulus
(Language: English)
Antje Wittstock, Institut für Philosophie, Literatur-, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte, Technische Universität Berlin
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - German, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 1204-bReflecting Maria: On the Illustrations of the Berner Marienleben and Presumed Aspects of Its Reception
(Language: English)
Jörg Christian Klenk, Deutsche Texte des Mittelalters, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin
Index terms: Language and Literature - German, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Religious Life
Abstract

The session will concentrate on texts deriving from different monastic backgrounds and their strategies of authorship. Paper one shows to what extend the ‘literary’ identity of Hermannus Contractus and Notker Balbulus, two monks of the 10th and 11th century, is influenced by a (supposed) handicap. It discusses the relation between physical affliction and the concept of authorship in a monastic context.
Paper two explores texts about women mystics written by their male biographers. In order to legitimate ‘the voice’ of the visionary, the often emphasised ‘sweetness’ of evocation has to be regulated by narrations of suffering and pain. Examples will be taken from the vitae of Elisabeth von Schönau, Dorothea von Montau and Adelheid Langmann. Paper three focuses on one manuscript, the Berner Marienleben, and its presumed origin out of a female monastery. This is hinted by several specific illustrations and the outstanding role Maria as ‘Corredemptrix’ is given therein.