Skip to main content

IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 209: Mighty Protectors for the Merchant Class: Saints as Intercessors between the Wealthy and the Divine

Monday 6 July 2015, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Cynthia Turner Camp, Department of English, University of Georgia, Athens
Moderator/Chair:Jennifer Jahner, Division of the Humanities & Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology
Paper 209-aCuthbertine Hermits and North Sea Merchant Traders
(Language: English)
Christiania Whitehead, Department of English & Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Index terms: Economics - Trade, Hagiography, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 209-bStolen, Hoarded, and Misplaced Saints: Visualizing the Relationship between Merchants and Their Holy Patrons in Medieval and Early Modern Venice
(Language: English)
Karen Rose Mathews, Department of Art & Art History, University of Miami, Florida
Index terms: Art History - General, Economics - Trade, Hagiography, Religious Life
Paper 209-cThe Sunday Saint: The Middle English Life of Erasmus and Late Medieval Mercantile Culture
(Language: English)
Cynthia Turner Camp, Department of English, University of Georgia, Athens
Index terms: Economics - Trade, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Middle English, Religious Life

In the later medieval period, merchants formed an integral part of urban society; among their activities, they facilitated trade between city centers, participated in the governing of cities, and were patrons of churches and monasteries. At the same time, the wealth that they amassed and their sometimes morally dubious activities, such as money lending, often left merchants fearful of what the afterlife would bring, causing them to appeal directly to specific saints for intercession. This session explores the religious lives of these elite members of urban society, considering the holy persons to whom merchants appealed as well as the manner in which they made these appeals.