Session107
TitleSaints and Common Creatures
Date/TimeMonday 4 July 2022: 11.15-12.45
 
OrganiserAmy V. Ogden, Department of French Language & Literature, University of Virginia
 
Moderator/ChairStephen J. Molvarec, School of Theology & Ministry, Boston College, Massachusetts
 
Paper 107-a Saints and Spiders: Webs of Significance
(Language: English)
Sven Gins, Faculteit Godgeleerdheid en Godsdienstwetenschap, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Index Terms: Hagiography; Mentalities
Paper 107-b Holy Cat!: The Complicated History of Saints and Their Cats
(Language: English)
Ann M. Martinez, Department of English, Kent State University, Stark
Index Terms: Gender Studies; Hagiography; Religious Life
Paper 107-c Purposeful Cats, Aimless Dogs?: Human-Animal Interactions in Devotio Moderna Biographies
(Language: English)
Mathilde van Dijk, Centre for Religion & Heritage, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Index Terms: Daily Life; Gender Studies; Hagiography; Religious Life
 
AbstractWithin medieval tales of heavenly ecstasies, spectacular tortures, resurrections, apparitions, and wild beasts, what place is there for common house cats or simple spiders? When the Lives of saints recount interactions between human beings and animals, the events tend toward the epic scale. Hagiographers, however, did sometimes see a purpose in telling about encounters between their protagonists and very quotidian creatures. What purpose do these episodes serve? To what extent do they reinforce or blur the boundaries between lowly and holy, between animal and human, between evil and good?