New Book – Saints, Cure-Seekers and Miraculous Healing in Twelfth-Century England by Ruth J. Salter

DESCRIPTION

Traces the journey from ill health to miraculous cure through the lens of hagiographical texts from twelfth-century England.
 
The cults of the saints were central to the medieval Church. These holy men and women acted as patrons and protectors to the religious communities who housed their relics and to the devotees who requested their assistance in petitioning God for a miracle. Among the collections of posthumous miracle stories, miracula, accounts of holy healing feature prominently and depict cure-seekers successfully securing their desired remedy for a range of ailments and afflictions. What can these miracle accounts tell us of the cure-seekers’ experiences of their journey from ill health to recovery, and how was healthcare presented in these sources?

This book aims to answer these questions via an in-depth study of the miraculous cure-seeking process, considering Latin miracle accounts produced in twelfth-century England, a time both when saints’ cults flourished and there was an increasing transmission and dissemination of classical and Arabic medical works. Focused on seven shorter miracula (including Eadmer of Canterbury’s Miracula S. Dunstani and Thomas of Monmouth’s Vita et Passione S. Wilelmi Martyris Norwicensis) with a predominantly localised appeal, and thus on a select group of cure-seekers – including Abbot Osbert of Notley who suffered from an eye complaint, Leofmær the bedridden knight, and Gaufrid who experienced a bad tooth extraction – the volume brings together studies of healthcare and pilgrimage, looking at the alternative to secular medical intervention and the practicalities and processes of securing saintly assistance.
 

CONTENTS

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
1 Miraculous Cures in Context: Twelfth-Century Medicine and the Saints
2 Holy Healing: An Analysis of the Ailments
3 The Great and the Good: Identifying the Cure-Seekers within the Miracles
4 From Near and Far: The Geography of the Cults and the Distance Travelled
5 The Road to Recovery: The Experience of Seeking Cure
6 Upon Arrival at the Shrine: Cure-Seekers and the Place of their Cure
Conclusion


Appendix 1: A List of the Named Cure-Seekers Within the Seven Miracula
Appendix 2: A List of the Occupations Recorded for Laypersons Within the Seven Miracula
Appendix 3: A List of the Place Names Recorded for Within Thomas of Monmouth’s M. Willelmi
Bibliography
Index

AUTHOR

RUTH J. SALTER is a Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Reading.

 

More information on the editor website

Call for papers – ‘Ecologies of Healing in the Premodern World (600-1350 CE)’ – Edinburgh, 9-10 Sept 2022.

Yet, how these diverse pieces can be assembled into a cohesive picture of medicine, health and healing within, let alone across, societies before c.1350 remains to be worked out. Ecologies of Healing invites scholars working on premodern Asian, African and European societies to do just that. The conference’s key goal is to piece together how interactions and demarcations between ideas, practices, practitioners, materials and settings of healing ultimately coalesced within the medical ecosystems of premodern societies. Ecologies of Healing also seeks to sharpen our chronologies by paying attention to how and why medical ecosystems have changed or stayed the same over time, and to promote further the global history of premodern medicine by exploring cross-cultural connections and comparisons between the medical ecosystems characteristic of distinct premodern societies.  

We welcome papers on premodern health, medicine and healing, including in the following areas: 

  • Medical epistemologies and knowledge communities; (re)constructions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ knowledge and practice 
  • Practical repercussions, and limitations of, learned medicine 
  • Competing, converging and coexisting practices of healing and healthcare work, including through patient as well as practitioner perspectives 
  • Economies of healing and the social settings of medicine, including the significance of environment, urban/rural geographies and domestic healthcare 
  • Roles of cross-cultural interactions and knowledge transfer in shaping practices of medicine 
  • Stratified healing, including the impact of wealth, status, ethnicity, religious affiliation and gender on participation in knowledge communities and access to healing 
  • Interfaces between animal and human healthcare 

Keynote speaker: 

Anthony Cerulli, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Confirmed speakers: 

Carmen Caballero Navas, University of Granada

Asaf Goldschmidt, Tel Aviv University

Ahmed Ragab, Williams College

Richard Sowerby, University of Edinburgh

Sethina Watson, University of York

Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim, Goldsmiths, University of London

The dates are preliminary and we will be able to confirm the final dates once we know more about the likely picture of the pandemic in 2022. Our aim is to hold a face-to-face event and we would cover the costs of three nights’ accommodation in Edinburgh. All papers will be pre-circulated among participants two months in advance of the conference, where each speaker will give a shorter presentation (around 15 minutes) outlining the paper’s key contentions followed by responses and open discussion. We are looking for papers dealing with original and previously unpublished material because our aim is that, ultimately, extended versions of the papers will form a peer-reviewed edited volume, Ecologies of Healing in the Premodern World. The final version of the papers in the volume will not exceed 10,000 words including footnotes.

Scholars are invited to submit abstracts of ca. 300 words to petros.bouras-vallianatos@ed.ac.uk and zubin.mistry@ed.ac.uk by 31 August 2021.

New book – Cécile Chapelain De Seréville-Niel, Christine Delaplace, Damien Jeanne et Pierre Sineux, “Purifier, soigner ou guérir ? Maladies et lieux religieux de la Méditerranée antique à la Normandie médiévale”, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2020.

Cet ouvrage permet une première synthèse sur l’empreinte des phénomènes religieux dans le traitement des maladies au sein des sociétés antiques et médiévales. Les investigations récentes menées pour la Normandie médiévale, mais aussi les études s’appuyant sur une aire géographique large (de la Grèce au monde anglo-normand) du VIIIe siècle av. J.-C. au XIIIe siècle apr. J.-C. ont permis d’aboutir à des réflexions croisées sur les problématiques suivantes : les sanctuaires de guérison participent-ils à la construction socioreligieuse du territoire ? Le religieux est-il indissociable du médical ? Quelle est la part de la magie dans les pratiques médicales ? La diffusion des savoirs médicaux éclipse-t-elle le religieux ?

Sommaire

  • Entre punition et élection : les maladies sont-elles sacrées ?
  • Thérapeutes et mortifères : dieux saints et roi
  • Typologie, typographie et fonctions des lieux religieux
  • Savoirs médicaux, rites, pratiques de guérison, purification, exorcisme

Auteurs

Cécile Chapelain de Seréville-Niel est archéoanthropologue et ingénieure de recherche en archéologie au CNRS. Elle est responsable du Service d’archéoanthropologie du Centre Michel-de-Boüard-CRAHAM (Centre de recherches archéologiques et historiques antiques et édiévales) UMR 6273 du CNRS – université de Caen-Normandie.

Christine Delaplace est professeur d’histoire romaine à l’université de Caen-Normandie. Elle dirige depuis 2017 le centre Michel-de-Boüard-CRAHAM.

Damien Jeanne est docteur en histoire et archéologie des mondes médiévaux et est membre associé au centre Michel-de-Boüard-CRAHAM.

Pierre Sineux (†) était professeur d’histoire grecque et membre du centre Michel-de-Boüard-CRAHAM. Il a été président de l’université de Caen-Normandie de 2012 à 2016.

CFP – In Sickness and in Health: Pestilence, Disease, and Healing in Medieval and Early Modern Art – 14th Annual Imago Conference, University of Haifa, January 12, 2021

In light of the global turmoil caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, the 14th Annual Imago conference will examine the cultural and artistic impact of epidemics, diseases, and healing in the art of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. We hope this examination will not only shed new light on the artistic, social, and political mechanisms of both of these periods, but will also produce fresh insights into cultural and artistic responses to the current global health crisis.

Disease is an inevitable part of the human experience. Whether in times of acute crisis, the most familiar of which is the Black Death of the mid-14th century, or as a constant threat at all other times, diseases evoked varied responses, from theological formulations to the transmission of medicinal knowledge; and, not least, to artistic depictions.

We invite papers from broad and diverse points of view: case studies of iconographies dealing with disease or healing, studies of the artistic responses to specific epidemics, and comparative studies between East and West, the Christian and the Islamic worlds, etc. Interdisciplinary studies and those engaging with the production, reception, and interpretation of art concerned with disease and healing are of particular interest. Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to:

· Artistic expressions of medicinal practices

· Visual components in medical manuscripts

· Artistic responses to the Black Death and to other epidemics

· Physical and spiritual health – Medieval and Early Modern expressions

· Disease and otherness – xenophobic, racist, and anti-Semitic polemical visual expressions

· Disease – theological and moral conceptions

· Gendered aspects of disease and healing

· Disease and healing between East and West – artistic expressions

· Leprosy and its cultural and artistic representations

· Saints, relics, pilgrimage, and healing

· Disease and apotropaic practices

· Places of sickness and death: art in hospitals and cemeteries

· Images of doctors and nurses

· Representations of suffering and sickness

The conference will take place on January 12, 2021, at the University of Haifa.

* Should the ongoing Covid-19 situation prevent the conference from being held on campus, it will be held online via Zoom.

* All speakers will be allowed to deliver their paper via Zoom, even if the conference will take place physically on campus.

*We will broadcast the entire conference to participants via Zoom.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent to Dr. Gil Fishhof (gfishhof@staff.haifa.ac.il) no later than September 1st,2020. Abstracts should include the applicant’s name, professional affiliation, and a short CV. Each paper should be limited to a 20-minute presentation, to be followed by a discussion and questions. All applicants will be notified by October 1st 2020 regarding acceptance of their proposal. For additional information or further inquiries, please contact Dr. Fishhof.

Organizing committee: Dr. Gil Fishhof, Ms. Mazi Kuzi, Prof. Jochai Rosen, Dr. Margo Stroumsa-Uzan.