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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 1120: Birgittine Texts and Networks, II

Wednesday 5 July 2023, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Syon Abbey Society / ReVision Project
Organiser:Brandon Alakas, Department of Fine Arts & Humanities, University of Alberta, Augustana
Moderator/Chair:Laura Saetveit Miles, Institutt for Fremmedspråk, Universitet i Bergen
Paper 1120-aSyon's Heretical Book: The Reforming Devotion of John Ryckes' Ymage of Love
(Language: English)
Brandon Alakas, Department of Fine Arts & Humanities, University of Alberta, Augustana
Index terms: Lay Piety, Literacy and Orality, Religious Life
Paper 1120-bNetworking Prayer: Richard Whitford, William Bonde, and the Vernacular Theology of London, British Library, MS Harley 494
(Language: English)
Katherine Goodwin, Department of History, Baylor University, Texas
Index terms: Manuscripts and Palaeography, Printing History, Religious Life, Theology
Paper 1120-cHow Did Birgitta of Sweden's Revelations Get to England?: The Networks behind the Mystery
(Language: English)
Yaroslav Pershyn, Institutt for fremmedspråk, Universitet i Bergen
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Lay Piety, Monasticism

St Birgitta's Revelations circulated widely and exercised significant influence in England until the Reformation. Reflecting and complementing the popularity of the Swedish saint, Syon Abbey, the sole Birgittine foundation in the country, promoted a comprehensive programme of pastoral outreach rooted in vernacular preaching and printing. The reputation of the abbey reached its zenith in the 16th century as a popular pilgrimage destination, site for obtaining pastoral direction, and centre for the production of devotional literature. The renown of the abbey, however, was anchored in a distinctive spirituality that was promoted in Birgitta's visions and in the priest-brothers' literary output - all of which enjoyed a broad readership through diverse networks of circulation and exchange.

As a thematic strand within this year's IMC 2023 theme of 'Networks and Entanglements', our sessions gather papers which focus on topics that explore issues related to the influence, transmission, and circulation of texts by Birgitta and the Birgittines of Syon Abbey which promoted the popularity of the Swedish Saint, her community, and Birgittine spirituality.