'Ad montem calvarie dum essem mestissima plorans…': Physical Presence and Divine Truth in St. Birgitta's Revelaciones
2015 (English)In: Faith and Knowledge in Late Medieval Scandinavia, Fordham University, New York, 25 September 2015, 2015Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
In 1372, the year before she died, Birgitta of Sweden went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where she experienced several visions pertaining to the lives of Christ and the Virgin. Although the contents of these were at times in conflict with existing accounts and, in some cases, even with doctrinal belief, the visions from Bethlehem and Jerusalem nevertheless received special emphasis during the trial for Birgitta’s sanctity. In my contribution to the proposed book, I shall investigate the function of the physical sites in the Holy Land with respect to divine insight and knowledge in the textual record of Birgitta’s visions, the Revelaciones. I shall seek to demonstrate that throughout the Revelaciones we find evidence for a difference in the saint’s understanding of the Gospels and of Salvation History before and after her visit to the shrines in the Holy Land. In order to examine how Birgitta’s presence in the Holy Land was instrumental to that outcome, I suggest that the various medieval modes of cognition and interpretation were fundamentally interrelated, so that the well-known division into literal and spiritual levels of meaning within textual exegesis had functional equivalents within the semantic realm of space and matter.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
St. Birgitta of Sweden, visions, pilgrimage, loca sacra, authenticity, materiality
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134322OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-134322DiVA: diva2:1018950
Faith and Knowledge in Late Medieval Scandinavia
ProjectsFaith and Knowledge in Late Medieval and Early Modern Scandinavia - an anthology project