Skip to main content

IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1224: Spiritual Nourishment in Early English Text and Image

Wednesday 6 July 2016, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Stanford University
Organiser:Elaine Treharne, Department of English, Stanford University
Moderator/Chair:David F. Johnson, Department of English, Florida State University
Paper 1224-a'Till ȝure sawles fode': Nourishing the Body and Soul in the Ormulum
(Language: English)
Carla María Thomas, Department of English, New York University
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Sermons and Preaching
Paper 1224-bFood for the Soul or Poison?: Curiosity in Ælfric
(Language: English)
Nicole Guenther Discenza, Department of English, University of South Florida
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Religious Life
Paper 1224-cFeeding on Blood: Spiritual Nourishment and the Arrows of the Crucifixion
(Language: English)
Catherine E. Karkov, School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Art History - General

In the spirit of the special thematic strand at this year's IMC, our session concentrates on feasting. Rather than literal feasts, though, our work seeks to evaluate the importance of 'spiritual nourishment' in a range of Early English texts between the late-9th to the early-13th centuries. This significant metaphor-of the ingestion of and dependency upon Christian wisdom and Christian symbols of eternal life-is a frequent motif in texts throughout the pre-modern ages. In this session, our speakers will detail particular characteristics of the motif as it appears in the Ormulum; Ælfric's prolific oeuvre of sermons and saints' lives; and in art historical and archaeological witnesses from the Anglo-Saxon period. Linked by a shared intellectual focus and by theme, these papers will highlight solid, liquid, and ethereal food as a means to life and death in the temporal and eternal spheres.