Miracles in Medieval Canonization Processes: Structures, Functions, and Methodologies [Hardback]

Sari Katajala-Peltomaa (Editor); Christian Krotzl (Editor)

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ISBN: 9782503573137 | Published by: Brepols | Series: International Medieval Research | Volume: 23 | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 325p,

Miracles in Medieval Canonization Processes: Structures, Functions, and Methodologies


When a beneficiary or an eye-witness to a miracle met a scribe at a saint’s shrine or a notary at a canonization hearing, it was necessary to establish that the experience was miraculous. Later, the same incident may have been re-told by the clergy; this time the narration needed to entertain the audience yet also to contain a didactic message of divine grace. If the case was eventually scrutinized at the papal curia, the narration and deposition had to fulfil the requirements of both theology and canon law in order to be successful. Miracle narrations had many functions, and they intersected various levels of medieval society and culture; this affected the structure of a collection and individual narration as well as the chosen rhetoric. This book offers a comprehensive methodological analysis of the structure and functions of medieval miracle collections and canonization processes as well as working-tools for reading these sources. By analysing typologies of miracles, stages of composition, as well as rhetorical elements of narrations and depositions, the entertaining, didactic, and judicial aspects of miracle narrations are elucidated while the communal and individual elements are also scrutinized.

Table of Contents

Approaching Twelfth–Fifteenth-Century Miracles: Miracle Registers, Collections, and Canonization Processes as Source Material — SARI KATAJALA-PELTOMAA & CHRISTIAN KRÖTZL
Section I: Inquiring Evidence and Selecting Miracles
The Inquisition of Miracles in Medieval Canonization Processes — GÁBOR KLANICZAY
Choosing Miracles for Vincent Ferrer — LAURA ACKERMAN SMOLLER
Testifying to Miracles: A Report on the Canonization Process of Bernardin of Siena — LETIZIA PELLEGRINI
Section II: Methods of Recording: Proof, Doubt, and Societal Processes
Telling the Miracle: The Meeting between Pilgrim and Scribe as Reflected in Swedish Miracle Collections — ANDERS FRÖJMARK
‘Miracula post mortem’. On Function, Content, and Typological Changes — CHRISTIAN KRÖTZL
Des miracles incroyables. Doutes ou intérêt social et politique dans les procès de canonisation des XIIIe–XIVe siècles — DIDIER LETT
Section III: Depositions and Convincing Rhetoric
Proving Misfortune, Proving Sainthood. Reconstructing Physical Impairment in Fourteenth-Century Miracle Testimonies — JENNI KUULIALA
Narrative Strategies in the Depositions: Gender, Family, and Devotion — SARI KATAJALA-PELTOMAA
The Prosaic Supernatural. Representation and function of lay visionary experience in miracle collections from the Low Countries — JONAS VAN MULDER

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