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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 554: Says Who?, I: Establishing Authority in Mystical Texts

Tuesday 7 July 2020, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Amanda Langley, School of History, Queen Mary University of London
Moderator/Chair:Michael Hahn, School of Divinity, University of St Andrews
Paper 554-aScribes, Witnesses, and Female Mystics: Constructing Authority in the Liber of St Angela of Foligno (c. 1248-1309) and the Reuelaciones of St Birgitta of Sweden (1303-1373)
(Language: English)
Annamaria Laviola-Svensäter, Centrum för teologi och religionsvetenskap, Lunds Universitet
Index terms: Hagiography, Religious Life, Rhetoric, Women's Studies
Paper 554-bPolitical Mysticism and Saintly Authority in the 14th Century
(Language: English)
F. Thomas Luongo, Department of History, Tulane University, New Orleans
Index terms: Hagiography, Politics and Diplomacy, Religious Life, Rhetoric
Paper 554-cImitatio Magdalena: Male Clerical Intervention in the Mystical Experience of Saints Catherine of Siena and Mary Magdalen
(Language: English)
Meagan Khoury, Department of Art & Art History Stanford University
Index terms: Hagiography, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Paper 554-dThe Model of Mary Magdalene in The Life of Blessed St Douceline: Legitimising Ecstatic Levitation and Female Preaching and Teaching
(Language: English)
Samantha Slaubaugh, Department of Theology University of Notre Dame Indiana
Index terms: Hagiography, Politics and Diplomacy, Religious Life, Women's Studies

The individual nature of divine experiences meant that perspective followers were asked to believe the mystic's accounts of these events and welcome their interpretation of these revelations. This presented a significant problem for some mystics or aspiring saints, particularly in the case of women and those living outside of religious communities, who had no socio-religious authority on theological and spiritual matters. These sessions examine how authority of voice was constructed in mystical texts, through the invocation of tropes and stereotypes, calling on ancient wisdom, comparisons to holy figures, and the support of witness testimonies and the opinions of institutional authorities.