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Hur man skapar ett helgon: Normering och censur i senmedeltida kanonisationsprocesser
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Medieval Studies. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2010 (Swedish)In: Historisk Tidskrift (S), ISSN 0345-469X, Vol. 130, no 2, 191-214 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the deliberate formation of different ideals of holiness in three late medieval canonization processes from the Baltic Sea region: the canonization of Bridget of Sweden, of Nikolaus Hermansson and of Dorothy of Montau. A comparison between the acts of these three processes and older versions of vitae and miracle collections, which have survived for all three saints, shows how the clerics who wrote the hagiographic texts shaped different ideals of sainthood for different audiences: one for the community at the saint’s place of worship, another for the pope and the cardinals who read and assessed the acts in order to decide whether or not to canonize the candidate. The normalization of the canonization process of saints from the geographical and cultural peripheries was also part of a process of integrating these regions into the Christian world, as the local clerics needed specialized knowledge to be able to convert the older texts into what they found more suitable for the purpose of canonization.

The term censorship is used for the distinctive techniques which were used to highlight certain aspects of the saint’s life and to ignore other, such as political action or the saint’s connection to his/her home country or network. The miracle collections played an important role in this process. Both the single miracle and the whole collection had to follow the distinct model of the healing miracles in the New Testament. They had to keep a balance between demonstrating the saint’s strengths and special gifts on the one hand and containing a large number of required miracle types on the other hand. Even if the norm for form and content of the acts was never written down in detail, the results of the normalization for the three processes investigated were strikingly similar.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 130, no 2, 191-214 p.
Keyword [en]
Europe, middle ages, saints, canonization, miracles, Bridget of Sweden, Nikolaus Hermansson, Dorothy of Montau, hagiography
Keyword [sv]
helgon, kanonisation, kanonisationsprocesser, Sverige, Preussen
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
kyrkohistoria
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-51559OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-51559DiVA: diva2:385016
Available from: 2011-01-11 Created: 2011-01-11 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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