TitleThe Borders of Life and Death, II: Death and Beyond
Date/TimeMonday 4 July 2022: 16.30-18.00
OrganiserJoanne Edge, Department of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Jude Seal, Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London
Moderator/ChairRuth J. Salter, Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Reading
Paper 331-a Die Another Day: Sir Gawain and the Instability of Death
(Language: English)
Roberta Marangi, School of English, University of St Andrews
Index Terms: Language and Literature - Middle English; Mentalities
Paper 331-b The Pastoral Function of the Walking Corpse in the Sermons of John Mirk
(Language: English)
Stephen Gordon, Department of History, University of Nottingham
Index Terms: Sermons and Preaching; Theology
AbstractIt is perhaps one of the ultimate boundaries - that between the living and the dead. And yet, in the records and narratives of the Middle Ages, death was not only of huge significance, but also not necessarily as permanent as one might otherwise believe. These sessions will explore the borders between life and death: how did medieval people navigate the uncertainties and liminal spaces between the living and the dead, and between being alive and being dead? In what ways did medieval people conceptualise near death experiences? In what ways did the rituals around death represent a syncretism of cultures as religious conversions spread through populations? In what ways did living people attempt to commune with the dead and how did they believe the dead communicated with the living?