Performance and Transformation: New Approaches to Late Medieval Spirituality

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Mary A. Suydam, Joanna E. Ziegler
Palgrave Macmillan, Jun 12, 1999 - History - 361 pages
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Performance and Transformation is a volume of essays that pushes the frontiers of interpretation on mystical and ecstatic writings of the later Middle Ages to explore them as particular performances. The noteworthy contributors examine mysticism and spirituality from multiple performance perspectives: dramatic, kinesthetic, linguistic, and spatial. Emerging from recent work on ritual, performance, mysticism, and the body, the authors offer new ways of analyzing these performances and their construction through questioning the various modes through which they were conveyed. Performance perspectives reveal women’s public leadership roles within their communities, the nature of devotional reading and authoring in manuscript cultures, and women’s roles in developing and performing rituals and texts that would transform future generations. The emphasis on the agency of women in conveying and constructing ritual makes this work a rare find among studies of its kind.

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About the author (1999)

Mary Suydam teaches medieval religion and history at Kenyon College. She is the author of numerous articles on the writings and visions of Hadewijch of Antwerp, a thirteenth-century Flemish Beguine.

Joanna Ziegler is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the College of the Holy Cross. She is the author of Sculpture of Compassion: The Pieta and the Beguines in the Southern Low Countries c.1300-c.1600.

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