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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1018: Spiritual Feasts and Fasts for the Senses: Responses to Christian Ritual

Wednesday 6 July 2016, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Sigbjørn Olsen Sønnesyn, Department of History, Durham University
Paper 1018-aThe Central Place of the Eucharist in the Life and Thought of the Church in the Second Half of the Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Ole Fredrik Kullerud, Independent Scholar, Halden
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Religious Life, Theology
Paper 1018-bSensory Fasting and the Hungertuch
(Language: English)
Ingrid Lunnan Nødseth, Institutt for kunst- og medievitenskap, Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet, Trondheim
Index terms: Art History - General, Religious Life
Paper 1018-cWall Paintings Representing the Body of Christ as Food in Medieval Finland
(Language: English)
Katja Fält, Department of Art & Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä / Finnish Social Science Data Archive, University of Tampere
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Local History, Religious Life

Paper -a:
Why did the Eucharist acquire such a central position in the life of the Church from about the year 1200 as it did? I want to discuss this question based on suggestions of theologians (such as Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas) as to why this sacrament was instituted, comparing the outcome of this investigation to the way other texts (e.g. Corpus Christi feast documents) see the Eucharist in the context of the Christian life in its integrity (e.g. left to us as a solace in the absence of Christ). I will also view different attempts to answer my question in research literature (e.g. Professor Miri Rubin).

Paper -b:
My paper addresses the issue of fast with a special attention to embodied seeing. Specifically, I will be looking at the Hungertuch (Lenten veil) and the medieval tradition of veiling images during Lent. I argue that this holistic approach to fasting demonstrates how medieval reception was indeed an embodied perception, where feelings, the sense of touch, smell, and sound all played a part, and therefore, all should be restricted. In conclusion, this project, by closely examining some examples of the medieval Hungertuch and the German technique of Opus Teutonicum (white-on-white linen embroidery), I hope to shed new light on a rarely acknowledged, but nonetheless central, part of medieval fast.

Paper -c:
In the Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ was contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine. Christ's body as food and nourishment, was also translated into visual form that expanded the spatial and communal aspect of seeing the Host inside the church. The paper examines the ways the body and blood of Christ as a sacramental offering to be consumed was conceptualised and visualised in the parish churches of medieval Finland.