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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 241: The Borders of Life and Death: The Supernatural World, II - Communicating with the Dead

Monday 6 July 2020, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Wellcome Collection
Organisers:Joanne Edge, Department of History & Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
Jude Seal, Independent Scholar, York
Moderator/Chair:Jude Seal, Independent Scholar, York
Paper 241-aBlurring Boundaries: Visions of, and Engagement with, the Holy Dead in High Medieval England
(Language: English)
Ruth Salter, Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Reading
Index terms: Hagiography, Lay Piety, Medicine, Social History
Paper 241-bExorcisms: Part of the Medical Curriculum in Early Medieval Europe?
(Language: English)
Ria Paroubek-Groenewoud, Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Index terms: Education, Medicine, Religious Life
Paper 241-cBooks of the Dead: Clerical Hermeneutics, Reading, and the Interpretation of Spirits in the Middle English Gast of Gy
(Language: English)
Alexander J. Zawacki, Department of English University of Rochester New York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Theology
Paper 241-d'Die Another Day': Sir Gawain and the Instability of Death
(Language: English)
Roberta Marangi, Département de langue et littérature anglaises, Université de Genève
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Mentalities

In the records and narratives of the Middle Ages, death was not only of huge significance, but also not necessarily as permanent as one might otherwise believe. These sessions will explore the borders between life and death: how did medieval people (in a broad geographical and chronological range) navigate the uncertainties and liminal spaces between the living and the dead, and between being alive and being dead? In what ways did medieval people conceptualise near death experiences? How did people attempt to predict their own death or that of others? In what ways did the rituals around death represent a syncretism of cultures as religious conversions spread through populations?