Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) trespassed many borders. She transgressed gender borders, writing on theological subjects and corresponding with popes and kings. She could do so by drawing on divine visions as a source of authority. In her last visionary book, Liber divinorum operum, she demonstrated the manifestation of God in created nature. By doing so, Hildegard crossed borders between two forms of knowledge and discourse: ordinary perception of the created world and her unique visionary perception. In my paper, I would like to examine how the two discoursive fields work together, both in the text and its illustrations of Lucca MS (Biblioteca Statale di Lucca, Cod.1942).
The Northern English mystic Richard Rolle (d. 1349) became a central figure of the late medieval English devotional canon. While he was influential in shaping English religious prose, he was primarily a Latin author, intensively copied outside England. Central Europe, including Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland, was especially active in proliferating the Psalter Commentary. In spite of her complex connections with this region, Hungary is bizarrely absent in the dissemination of Rolle’s works. No copies of, or references to, Rolle survive in manuscripts produced or used in Hungary; nor is Rolle present in early print. The National Library of Budapest possesses one single manuscript containing a chapter of Rolle’s Emendatio vite, which to date remains a singular witness of Rolle’s presence in Hungary. My paper will present the results of an ongoing research concerning the provenance of this manuscript, its way to Hungary, and its uses.
L’islam a commencé étranger et il redeviendra étranger, heureux soient les étrangers! Ce hadith a particulièrement été interprété par les premiers soufis, ces derniers revendiquant en effet le statut eschatologique de l’étranger, du ġarīb, seul à pouvoir entrer dans la demeure prophétique. En quoi le concept d’étranger (al-ġarīb) ou d’exil (al-ġurba) pose précisément la question des frontières de la foi ? Comment les soufis définissent-ils le périmètre de cette ġurba alors qu’elle est associée à un mode de vie intérieur comme extérieur de sincère dévotion à Dieu, et rattachée à la fois au caché et à l’incompréhensible?
In their cataphatic experience of the divine, the medieval mystics dwelled ‘in between’ – they could neither belong completely to the everyday world, nor forsake it, which rendered their identity incoherent and verging. Using the examples of Dorothea of Montau and Margery Kempe, I would like to argue that in order to establish their identity as mystics, they needed to re-evaluate their carnality. Whereas the mystic’s body was often perceived as a seal, both women struggled with reconciling their everyday bodily experiences with the divine experience. Moreover, I would like to propose that for the mystic’s identity to be established, a second element was needed, the Foucaultian avowal, both in the institutional, and personal dimension.