PhD ceremony: Ms. S.A. Folkerts, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Thesis: Voorbeeld op schrift. De overlevering en toe-eigening van de vita van Christina Mirabilis in de late middeleeuwen
Promotor(s): prof. B.A.M. Ramakers
The dissertation of Suzan Folkerts is entitled: ‘Written Example. The Transmission and Appropriation of the Vita of Christina Mirabilis in the Later Middle Ages’. It focuses on the reception of the Vita of Christina Mirabilis (‘The Astonishing’) in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Christina was a laywoman who acted as a prophetess and penitential preacher and was considered a saint by her hagiographer Thomas of Cantimpré and other contemporaries. Her Vita was transmitted not only in the diocese of Liège, where she lived, but in a much broader area.
The central question of the dissertation is: who transmitted and read the Vitae of Christina and other lay saints and how does the reception and appropriation of the Vita of Christina manifest itself in manuscripts? To answer these questions, the manuscripts are taken as the main source material. They are considered as platforms which were used by scribes, readers and others to act and interact with the text and one another. In her book Folkerts shows that the Vita of Christina Mirabilis had different functions and meanings in different socio-religious contexts. It played a part in forming regional and spiritual identities and was used as example literature, especially with respect to purgatory. For clerics, the Vita of Christina was a mirror with which they could reflect on their office. One of the most important conclusions is that Christina was not so much an example for other religious women as she was for religious men.
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