Program Thursday, 22 November Napier 209 Lecture Theatre The University of Adelaide 6 pm
Keynote Chair: TBC Professor Thomas A. Fudge (University of New England), ‘Laughing, Crying and Killing: Emotions at Stake in Medieval Bohemia’
Friday, 23 November Napier 210 The University of Adelaide 8:45-9:15
Panel 1 Chair: Stephanie Thomson Sarah Randles (University of Melbourne/University of Tasmania), ‘The golden reliquary in which is located the tunic of the Blessed Mary’: The sainte châsse of Chartres as emotional object’ Lucy King (University of Sydney), ‘Dragons, Saints and King(makers): Religious Allegory and Political Spectacle in the Wars of the Roses’ Carol Williams (Monash University), ‘The expression in medieval plainchant of the emotion of religious text’
Panel 2 Chair: Mark Neuendorf Ricardo Fernández González (University of Uppsala), ‘Saint Worship in Early Modern Castile’
Matt Firth (Flinders University), ‘Memory, Nostalgia, and Identity in the Narrative of Icelandic Conversion’ Andrew Lynch (University of Western Australia), ‘Emotion, devotion and exile in the legend of St Mary of Egypt’ 1-2
Panel 3 Chair: Katie Barclay Arianna Brunori (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa), ‘Angela da Foligno: Feeling God through the Body’ Mark Neuendorf (University of Adelaide), ‘Matters of Taste? Emotions, Aesthetics and the Romantic-era Sermon’ Astrid Lane (University of Adelaide), ‘“Thee will I ever chant, thy power praise”: Translating Stoic Emotion and Prayer Practices in Early Modern England’
Panel 4 Chair: Jessica McCandless Keagan Brewer (University of Sydney), ‘Fear and wonder as tools for belief control, and the possibility of atheism in twelfth- and thirteenth-century western Europe’ Vanessa Crosby (University of New South Wales), ‘Memento Mori and the Rehearsal of Fear’
Conference Dinner: Borsa Pasta Cucina
Abstracts Thomas Fudge (University of New England) [email protected] Laughing, Crying and Killing: Emotions at Stake in Medieval Bohemia Laughter, tears, and killing were responses to Hussite heresy. Heresy brought fear to the church and the heretics were fearful of retribution, and the violence of prison, sword, and the fires of the stake. But what do these expressions of emotion tell us? This lecture examines a sermon reflecting vivid fear of the heretics, a chronicle wherein a principle response to the Hussites is laughter, and the outpouring of extravagant emotion in the wake of the murder of a popular priest in Prague. Using heresy as context the lecture seeks to understand how emotion shapes both historical narrative and communicative memory. Sarah Randles (UMelb/UTas) [email protected] ‘The golden reliquary in which is located the tunic of the Blessed Mary’: The sainte châsse of Chartres as emotional object During the Reign of Terror, at 8 o’clock in the morning of 24 September 1793, representatives of the municipality of Chartres presented themselves at the sacristy of that town’s cathedral, and, in the presence of the state-appointed clergy, removed its most precious reliquary, known today as the sainte châsse and long-believed to contain the garment worn by the Virgin Mary at the birth of Christ. The gold-panelled reliquary, together with the many precious jewels and gold and silver offerings which had been attached to it over eight centuries, was broken down into its component materials, including almost 20 kg of gold, silver gilt and silver, as well as numerous gemstones. The relics which the sainte châsse had preserved were cut up and dispersed as souvenirs. While the record of this destruction does not state the emotional response of the people of Chartres to the loss of their chief reliquary on this occasion, the response to an earlier attempt to requisition it in 1562 stated that ‘if the said shrine were to be transported out of the city, it would be with tears, and to the great regret of the said inhabitants’. This paper will examine the role of the sainte châsse as an emotional object in the life of Chartres and its cathedral. It will consider how it functioned to enhance the prestige and
religious power of the relic it contained, and the way that that it came to be regarded as a holy and powerful object in its own right. Lucy King (USyd) [email protected] Dragons, Saints and King(makers): Religious Allegory and Political Spectacle in the Wars of the Roses On the tenth of October 1460, Richard Duke of York entered Westminster “with five hundred armed men behind him” and “trumpets and clarions sounding,” his sword borne upright before him as he proceeded to parliament while his servants held the cloth of state above his head in a manner only appropriate for a king. As Clifford Geertz wrote in his seminal text, “small facts speak to large issues,” and this interpretation of codified activity remains true when reading the actions of monarchs and magnates during the Wars of the Roses. Many of these figures drew on established traditions of ceremony and particularly borrowed on the spectacle of recognisable religious ceremonies. Sydney Anglo brought the pageantry of the Tudor court to prominence in his 1997 study and in this paper I will build on his work to investigate the foundations of Tudor spectacle in ceremonies throughout the Wars of the Roses. This research also expands upon the religious origins and connections of many Yorkist and Lancastrian ceremonies during the late 15th century and explores the dynamic way in which nobles actively created connections between Christian belief and Celtic mythology building upon religious and emotional associations, as well as considering the significance of performance of gender for political gain. Carol Williams (Monash) [email protected] The expression in medieval plainchant of the emotion of religious text Ever since music was welcomed as an essential part of the ritual of Christian worship in Western Europe there was the understanding that it expressed an emotional message, either to do with the narrative of belief reflecting on the history of the Old Testament or the promise of the New. Medieval theorists such as Guido of Arezzo (d. 1050) were articulate about the related emotion of the plainchant text to the nature of the conveying melody. In the Micrologus he said “Let the effect of the song express what is going on in the text, so that for sad things the neumes (notes of the melody) are grave, for serene ones, they are cheerful and for auspicious texts, exultant and so forth.” Nonetheless it was not until the late 13th and
early 14th centuries that music theorists began to be articulate about exactly how chant conveyed the emotions called up by the text or lyric. Though there is a developmental line that can be traced back through almost a century, the clearest expression of the mechanics of relating the emotion of the text to the expression of the melody is found in the Tractatus de tonis of Guy of Saint-Denis. This paper aims to contextualise Guy’s thinking by tracing the influences on him, particularly those of Thomas Aquinas and Peter of Auvergne. Ricardo Fernández González (Uppsala) [email protected] Saint worship in Early Modern Castile In the second half of the seventeenth century, Philip II, king of the Hispanic Monarchy, passed a series of questionnaires to some of the cities and villages of his realm, starting from the center of the kingdom of Castile. The survey asked the local inhabitants questions ranging from the political and economical to the religious and geographic, and these documents have proven to be a fruitful source for the understanding of Castilian Early Modern rural society. Representatives from the rural peasant communities of Castile answer the questions (usually selected because of their old age), and detailed the festivities, patron saints and relics that they had and that articulated their local religion. Beautifully, we can hear from their mouths how these local inhabitants understood their religiosity and their bonds with saints. These documents are called the topographic relations of Philip II, and I’m currently in an ongoing investigation on saint worship in rural Castile, looking at how the inhabitants of the villages of the Castilian heartland understood their religion, looking at aspects such as the moral, emotional, social and identity functionalities of these practices in these communities as expressed by themselves in these documents. Matt Firth (Flinders) [email protected] Memory, Nostalgia, and Identity in the Narrative of Icelandic Conversion Iceland’s governance at the time of its conversion to Christianity was unique within western Europe. A highly litigious society, distrustful of kingship, the governance of the island was quasi-parliamentary with matters of island-wide importance resolved at the annual Alþingi [assembly]. In the year 1000, it was the topic of conversion to Christianity with which the Alþingi was concerned. Under pressure to convert from the Norwegian king, Olaf Tryggvason, factionalism had riven the island as goðar [chieftains] and Þingmenn [free-men]
aligned on religious grounds. Placed under the arbitration of the pagan lögmaður [lawspeaker] Þorgeir Þorkelsson, both sides of the debate agreed to abide by his decision. Spending a day and night in meditation, Þorgeir declared for Christianity, and Iceland converted. An event known as kristnitaka. This tale, as it comes to us, is mediated through Christian authorship, yet it displays a lingering sense of identity attached to Iceland’s pre-Christian culture. Portrayals of contact with missionaries prior to kristnitaka invariably portray the Christians as aggressors, while descriptions of ongoing private pagan practice in the saga corpus are often sympathetic. Þorgeir’s own mental torment in arriving at his decision serves as a poignant and undoubtedly deliberate metaphor for kristnitaka: conversion may have been the right choice, but it came at the sacrifice of personal identity. It is this nostalgia for Iceland’s pagan past that this paper proposes to examine, exploring the tension between belief and identity that inhabits the idealised portrayal of pagan Iceland created by the Christian Icelandic writers of later centuries. Andrew Lynch (UWA) [email protected] Emotion, devotion and exile in the legend of St Mary of Egypt In medieval hagiography, as in romances, protagonists frequently experience periods of exile and homeless wandering, seen as part of a narrative of personal growth, and as a textual modelling of core values. This paper will consider the potentially redemptive function of movement to and through ‘wild', and ‘desert’ places in the medieval legends of St Mary of Egypt. It will explore the potential in the depiction of the saint’s bodily movement into exilic and marginal locations to create alternative emotional understandings of the traditional physical, ideological and gendered ‘centres’ – towns and monasteries – depicted in the stories, arguing that her emotional practice creates new spaces of separation and belonging that refashion ideas of community and exclusion. Saints’ lives are themselves wide travellers over time and space, changing their emphases as they cross cultural and linguistic borders. To illustrate its enquiry, the paper will compare and contrast emotional and spatial representations of exile in several versions of the legend of St Mary of Egypt, ranging from the eleventh century into the later middle ages and beyond.
Arianna Brunori (Pisa) [email protected] Angela da Foligno. Feeling God through the Body Scholars have long emphasized the distance that in the late Middle Ages separates the socalled “affective mysticism”, which, relying on the Cistercian monastic experience, sees in the affectus the point of conjunction between man and God, and the intellectualist mysticism, which instead considers the intellectus as the faculty that enters in contact with the divine. Differently, moving from Caroline Walker Bynum's works, this paper aims to argue in favor of a further distinction, much more radical than the previous one: that between a mystical tradition, predominantly male, that considers emotions as passiones animi, and a mystical tradition, mostly composed by women, which insists on emotions as not only spiritual but also bodily affections. In particular, comparing the work of the Italian mystic Angela da Foligno (1248-1309) with some of its sources - Bernard of Clairvaux, William of St-Thierry, Richard of Saint Victor, etc. -, I intend to demonstrate how, at least from the end of the 13th century, the female theological discourse develops an innovative anthropology that insists on the “embodied” character of emotions. Mark Neuendorf (Adelaide) [email protected] Matters of Taste? Emotions, Aesthetics and the Romantic-era Sermon In a key passage of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, the book’s male protagonist, clergyman Edmund Bertram, voiced a spirited defence of British churchmen. Responding to criticisms of the perceived provincialism of the stereotypical country parson, Bertram lashed the ‘fine preachers’ of the metropolis, who aspired to being little more than ‘the arbiters of goodbreeding, the regulators of refinement and courtesy, the masters of the ceremonies of life.’ Writing in a period of civil unrest, Austen was voicing the anxieties of many contemporaries, who feared that the pleasures of the so-called ‘fashionable world’ were corrupting the morals of the British clergy: concerns that were heightened by many preachers’ apparent devotion to the prevailing ‘sentimental’ emotional style, realised in sermons through ornamental tropes and expressive embodiments. By challenging the legitimacy of this sermon culture, these critics sought to impose new standards of taste in oratory, and, more critically, to align pulpit eloquence with a new emotional norm – ‘sincerity’ – centred on the values of sobriety,
ruggedness, and stoic austerity. The implications of this critique for the production, dissemination, and reception of British sermons will be discussed in this paper.
Astrid Lane (Adelaide) [email protected] “Thee will I ever chant, thy power praise”: Translating Stoic emotion and prayer practices in Early Modern England The transmission of the teachings of the ancient Stoics was enabled in no small part by the perceived similarities between Stoicism and Christianity. The Neo-Stoic project of Renaissance Europeans such as Justus Lipsius (Netherlands) and Guillaume Du Vair (France) endeavoured to produce translations and anthologies of Stoic works fit for Christian consumption. The Neo-Stoics fastidiously selected and annotated those parts of the philosophy which best served their Christian practice and altered the nature of the “Stoicism” which it transmitted, adding prominence to emotional response and prayer-like practices. The works of these “Christian Stoics” were translated into English and remained popular in England into the seventeenth century. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries however, translators in England, often but not always men of the cloth, began the task of translating the original works of the Stoics for themselves, assuming they knew the nature of what they would find. Some of these projects were abandoned. This paper will compare, and contrast translation projects embarked upon by literary figures associated with the church and analyse how English translation projects impacted Stoicism’s association with eighteenth century English Christianity. Keagan Brewer (USyd) [email protected] Fear and wonder as tools for belief control, and the possibility of atheism in twelfthand thirteenth-century western Europe The question as to whether atheism existed in the Middle Ages has been rarely entertained with much seriousness. One reason for this is the pervasiveness of the reductionist stereotype that the Middle Ages was an ‘age of faith’. Another more methodologically complex reason is the lack of medieval Latin equivalent for the contemporary English word ‘atheism’. However, twenty-first century scholars, particularly of younger generations, seem more willing to acknowledge the possibility that there were atheists, or at least atheistic moments,
in the complex landscape of medieval unorthodoxy. Part of this revisionism is surely selfreflexive as secularisation progresses, but does the argument rest on solid primary evidence? In this paper, I propose that the medieval clergy manipulated the emotions of fear and wonder in an attempt to disincentivise disbelief, unorthodoxy, and more enduring states of ‘atheism’. One particularly striking exemplum, for example, concerns a depressed adolescent girl who disbelieved in the supernatural world “because I have not seen it”, was imprisoned by a local monk for a week, and then recanted her disbelief after allegedly receiving a vision. Such narratives aimed at what I call ‘intra-religious conversion’, that is, the fight to maintain the orthodoxy of medieval Catholics through manipulation of fear and wonder. This widespread trend in exempla, as will be shown, helps us reconceptualise the medieval clergy, not as powerful overlords who univocally decided upon ‘the’ medieval worldview, but as embittered battlers in a permanent struggle against the swirling maelstrom of disbelief in its various forms. Whether or not that struggle was successful is open to question. Vanessa Crosby (UNSW) [email protected] Memento Mori and the Rehearsal of Fear From rosary beads carved in the form of human skulls, to cadaver tombs, and depictions of the Dance of Death, macabre imagery proliferated in objects designed for use in lay devotions and contemplations during the late Middle Ages. Material representations of death incorporating macabre imagery were the devotional apparatus for the Ars Moriendi - texts that outlined the craft of dying well. Chief among the concerns of the Ars Moriendi was Satan’s ability to evoke such terror at the moment of dying that the person on their deathbed would despair of redemption and fail to confess their sins, thereby damning their soul. Fear, itself, was to be feared. And yet, the macabre objects examined in this paper do not shy away from evoking terror. Rather they invite an intimacy with fear, designed to be to be held or apprehended at close proximity through repeated, multisensorial interactions. This paper considers the way in which late medieval Memento Mori and other depictions of the macabre produced intimate devotional spaces for the rehearsal of fear. Drawing on anthropological theories of the material culture of religion and methodologies centred on techniques of the self, I will argue that macabre objects and images were designed to evoke fear and terror within a highly contained, often miniaturized material form in order to inculcate highly disciplined emotional responses and inoculate late medieval subjects against a moment of despair in the face of death that could threaten their eternal souls.