IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 132: Praying at the Border: Women's Voices in Prayers

Monday 6 July 2020, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Sheri Smith, School of English, Communication & Philosophy, Cardiff University
Moderator/Chair:Wendy R. Larson, English & Communication Studies Department Roanoke College Virginia
Paper 132-aFormulae for Vengeance and Salvation: The Prayers of Chaucer's Pagan and Christian Women
(Language: English)
Sheri Smith, School of English, Communication & Philosophy, Cardiff University
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Pagan Religions
Paper 132-b'Grant it to them for love of me': St Margaret's Foundational Prayer
(Language: English)
Wendy R. Larson, English & Communication Studies Department Roanoke College Virginia
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Middle English
Paper 132-cPrayers as Teachings: Female Lessons beyond the Grave
(Language: English)
Kortney Stern, Department of English Indiana University Bloomington
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Women's Studies
Abstract

These papers all address moments in Middle English literature when women’s prayers are presented, and the speech act of prayer works to establish or negotiate a boundary. The prayers of pagan and Christian women in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales delineate boundaries between their religious identities and the continuity of gender, while the final prayer of St Margaret of Antioch before her martyrdom marks her movement from a young woman at the margin of the Roman Empire, to being the center of cultic activity. The women speakers in Pearl, Revelations of Divine Love, and A Disputacioun Betwyx ├że Body and Wormes, address the boundary between life and death, and offer a vision of a world without borders, where the distinctions that guide earthly existence are no more.