Word, Image and Experience: Dynamics of Miracle and Self-Perception in Sixth-Century Gaul

1st Edition

Giselle de Nie

Routledge
Published August 5, 2003
Reference - 390 Pages
ISBN 9780860789338 - CAT# Y233317
Series: Variorum Collected Studies

USD$195.00

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Summary

Focusing on the works of bishop Gregory of Tours (539-594) and the poet-hagiographer Venantius Fortunatus (540-c.604), in later life bishop of Poitiers, Dr de Nie gives in these innovative studies a new understanding of the miracle stories around which much of their writing revolves, but whose bizarre dynamics appear to defy sense, which has often resulted in their dismissal as useless to the historian. These authors' perceptions of miracles - and their renderings of the human self-awareness through which miracles are perceived and happen - are analysed as attempts, mostly rooted in models from the Bible, to adjust the early Christian tradition so as to make sense of, and protect themselves in, the highly insecure environment of 6th-century Frankish Gaul. Drawing on modern anthropological and psychological studies, notably in the area of spiritual healing practices, as well as on philosophical and theological reflections about verbal and mental imagery, she demonstrates how these can be used to throw fresh light on late antique society and its spirituality, exploring views of mind, affectivity, body, sensory phenomena, symbols, and the perception of women as well as of the qualities of images, verbal language and texts. The volume includes five essays not previously published in English.

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