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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1033: Women and Sacred Spheres

Wednesday 6 July 2016, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Louise Nelstrop, St Benet's Hall, University of Oxford / Sarum College, Salisbury
Paper 1033-aWomen Mystics: The Case of St Angela of Foligno - Life and Context
(Language: English)
Gabriella Turai, Társadalomtudományi és Nemzetközi Kapcsolatok Kar, Corvinus Egyetem, Budapest
Index terms: Gender Studies, Political Thought, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Paper 1033-bThe Threshold, a Mighty Sacred Space: The Case of Mary of Egypt - Fall and Redemption
(Language: English)
Jeannine Horowitz, Department of Religious Studies, University of Haifa
Index terms: Anthropology, Hagiography, Mentalities, Religious Life

Paper -a:
Significance and actuality of the project: St Angela of Foligno (1248-1309) is considered the biggest Franciscan female mystic. In 2013 Pope Francis proclaimed her as a saint. In the last three decades scholarship has seen an emerging multidisciplinary interest in female mysticism. Undoubtedly it is also a leading topic in feminist scholarship. The aim of this presentation is to show the life and context of St Angela of Foligno, proving that this mystical women represents her epoch and at the same time medieval female mysticism.

Paper -b:
Marie's course of life, from prostitute to sanctified desert anchoress is far from being a unique case of redemption in religious history. However it is exemplary inasmuch as it manifestly underscores the locus of her seemingly sudden conversion / transformation per visibilia ad invisibilia: the threshold of a church. The threshold, whether material or mental, pertains to the field of sacred geography. According to Mircea Eliade, it constitutes a privileged sacred space, a place and time of rupture implying both a hierophany and a turbulence zone propitious to all possible hazards. The paper's aim is to investigate the perception and the impact in religious thought inspired by the concept shared by almost all religious systems of 'threshold'.