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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 307: Debating Relics: Reflections on Relics in the Middle Ages and Problems of Methodology, III - Relics and réécriture

Monday 4 July 2016, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:NWO-VIDI Project 'Mind Over Matter: Debates about Relics as Sacred Objects, c. 350 - c. 1150'
Organiser:Janneke Raaijmakers, Afdeling Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Moderator/Chair:Jamie Kreiner, Department of History, University of Georgia, Athens
Respondent:Julia M. H. Smith, School of Humanities (History), University of Glasgow
Paper 307-aMiracle Stories and Their Meaning in Alcuin's Saints' Lives
(Language: English)
Jelle Visser, Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Index terms: Hagiography, Religious Life, Rhetoric
Paper 307-bRewriting on Demand: Jonas of Orléans's Vita secunda et translatio sancti Hucberti and Carolingian Politics of Relic Veneration
(Language: English)
Francesco Veronese, Dipartimento di scienze storiche, geografiche e dell'antichità, Università degli Studi di Padova
Index terms: Hagiography, Religious Life, Theology

Saints' lives were not constant in their appearance over time. Amongst other things, the decision could be taken to rewrite a saint's life (réécriture), a phenomenon on which scholarship of the last three decades has shed considerable light, mostly in terms of literary theory and literary history. Stylistic amelioration was often a motivation behind réécriture - but were there other motivations as well? Could réécriture be prompted by changing conceptions of sanctity, relics, or miracles? This session asks whether we can identify changing conceptions of sanctity, relics, and miracles when we compare the older and the newer version of a rewritten saints' life. It wants to know what changes were applied to the stories, and why? What does the réécriture of a specific saints' life tell us about the communities that produced it and about that community's conception of sanctity, its relation to the relic, and their means of interacting between Heaven and Earth?