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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 1227: Medieval Networks of Emotions and Passions, I

Wednesday 5 July 2023, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Melanie Brunner, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 1227-aDeath Rituals as Sites of Emotional Networks: The Burial of Peter Abelard
(Language: English)
Babette Hellemans, Afdeling Geschiedenis, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen / Wolfson College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Education, Mentalities, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 1227-bCompassio et vita: The Images of Passion in the Vision of Early Franciscan Theology
(Language: English)
Bingyi Chen, Department of Theology & Religious Studies, King's College London
Index terms: Art History - General, Philosophy, Religious Life, Theology
Paper 1227-cCould Passion Play Spectators Be Considered an Emotional Community?
(Language: English)
Ivan Missoni, Independent Scholar Zagreb
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval, Performance Arts - Drama, Religious Life

Paper -a:
This paper discusses Abelard's death in 1142 at Cluny and the translation (translatio) of his body to Paraclete Abbey, which was founded by Abelard for Heloise, to illustrate the handling of death rituals as part of emotional network practices in monastic communities. At Cluny, death rituals, prayers for the deceased, and the language to express emotions of mourning became increasingly sophisticated as they strengthened religious networks of laypeople and monks. I intend to discuss how Abbot Peter the Venerable of Cluny used the circumstances around Abelard's death to secure the merits of Heloise's work at Paraclete Abbey, in both word and deed, while using his diplomatic network.

Paper -b:
The entanglement between the person and the images, specifically the believer with the images of Jesus Christ, was present in all aspects of early Franciscan spiritual practice through liturgies and popular preachings. This paper seeks to explore the visual paradigm of the body-image in the early 13th century through the lens of early Franciscan theology and attempts to uncover a visual experience that differs from the narrative logic of the later period, namely, the experience of perceiving the presence of God rather than His representation on the objects.

Paper -c:
In this paper, by comparing Croatian medieval Passion plays with the most notable works of that genre throughout Europe, with special emphasis on Italian saccre rappresentazioni, I aim to establish whether Passion play spectators could be considered an emotional community. Those plays, often performed during the Holy Week or on the Feast of Corpus Christi, constituted one of the most popular and influential dramatic genres of the Middle Ages, flourishing from the 14th until the 16th century and ranging across most of Catholic Europe. Based on my research, I would argue that Passion plays functioned as paradigmatic 'emotion scripts' that the gathered spectators were meant to follow, while compelling effect, engagement and identification with Christ and the Virgin Mary was an instance of 'emotive practice' which had consequently prompted medieval audience members to form ad hoc 'emotional communities'.