IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 829: 'Ave Maria gratia plena': Remembering the Virgin Mary

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Amy Devenney, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 829-aThe Camisa of the Virgin at Chartres: A Memory Re-Modelled
(Language: English)
Julia Watson, Independent Scholar, Oxford
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Liturgy
Paper 829-bMary as perfectissima roboratrix in the Latter Years of Her Life?
(Language: English)
Mary Dzon, Department of English, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Middle English, Language and Literature - Latin
Paper 829-cMary and the Apocrypha: The Nativity and Presentation at the Temple between Hagiographic Collections and Church Representations
(Language: English)
Andrea-Bianka Znorovszky, Trivent Publishing, Budapest
Index terms: Art History - General, Hagiography

Paper -a:
To a medieval bishop his church’s institutional memories sustained its prestige and legitimacy. Such memories encased vital knowledge anchoring the church in its locality, whether geographical or political. However, circumstances of history change requiring new knowledge. At the first millennium, a time of mounting fear of heresy, Bishop Fulbert of Chartres creates a new institutional memory for his church to answer the fear and sustain legitimacy. This paper discusses Fulbert’s re-modelling of the memory of Chartres’s most important relic, the camisa of the Virgin, transforming it from a symbol of Chartres’s 9th-century defensive importance to become the centre-piece in a narrative proclaiming his church to be a true representative of Christian orthodoxy.

Paper -b:
Surviving Lives of the Virgin in medieval Latin, French, and Middle English fill the elusive gap that spans the aftermath of the Passion to the time of Mary’s death. These texts agree that Mary led an active and contemplative life following the Ascension of Christ. She engaged in prayer, study, and manual labor at home and spent countless hours at the sites where Jesus lived and died. At the same time, Mary served the needs of good and wayward people, according to Birgitta of Sweden, who also notes that Mary remembered the Passion with sorrow and was anxious about the sufferings of Christians. Like the Swedish visionary, John Gower, Thomas of Hales, and the author of the Vita rhythmica underscore the power of Mary’s faith as an aid to others. These authors vary though in their willingness to attribute retrospection, yearning, and unsettling emotions to Mary.

Paper -c:
The proposed paper concentrates on the apocryphal iconography of the Virgin Mary as reflected in two of the episodes of her youth, namely her Nativity and her Presentation at the Temple (including representations of Mary’s life in the Temple). It aims at presenting the incorporation of apocryphal material into hagiographic collections (Legenda Aurea, Speculum Humanae Salvationis) and into visual depictions (miniatures, frescoes, panel paintings) in 14th to 16th-century Central Europe. Furthermore, it traces developments with regard to the visual construction of Mary in religious contexts (liturgy and/or devotio moderna), the differences in the transition of her representations from the space of the folio to church space, and the movement of her iconography according to audience.