Visions and Voice-Hearing in Medieval and Early Modern Contexts
Hilary Powell, Corinne Saunders (Editors)
Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan; 1st ed. 2021 edition (December 12, 2020)
Language: : English
Hardcover : 327 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-3030526580
This book examines how the experiences of hearing voices and seeing visions were understood within the cultural, literary, and intellectual contexts of the medieval and early modern periods. In the Middle Ages, these experiences were interpreted according to frameworks that could credit visionaries or voice-hearers with spiritual knowledge, and allow them to inhabit social roles that were as much desired as feared. Voice-hearing and visionary experience offered powerful creative possibilities in imaginative literature and were often central to the writing of inner, spiritual lives. Ideas about such experience were taken up and reshaped in response to the cultural shifts of the early modern period. These essays, which consider the period 1100 to 1700, offer diverse new insights into a complex, controversial, and contested category of human experience, exploring literary and spiritual works as illuminated by scientific and medical writings, natural philosophy and theology, and the visual arts. In extending and challenging contemporary bio-medical perspectives through the insights and methodologies of the arts and humanities, the volume offers a timely intervention within the wider project of the medical humanities.