Saints and Mystics in Medieval Christianity and Islam
The seminar explored the changing connections between mystics and society between 800 and 1500 A. D. in both Islamic and Christian traditions. In the period between the ninth and sixteenth centuries A. D., and the third and the tenth A. H., the histories of both Christianity and Islam afforded a prominent place to saints as well as mystics. Both traditions indentified saints as “friends of God,” individuals whose lives displayed an especially close relationshiop to the deity. Often that connection to God expressed itself thorugh miracles, visions, or other extraordinary signs of divine favor. While some attained sainthood through martyrdom, many more achieved that status through mystical experience: the attainment of a direct apprehension of the divine presence. This course examined such issues as the practice of pilgrimage, the organization of religious life around corporate bodies, and the cult of saints in order to explore the connections which Christianity and Islam share with Mediterranean culture.
Participants: Ali Anushiravani, Newberry Library; Timothy Beals, Western Michigan University; Raymond Clemens, Columbia University; Emily Davis, Washington University; Susan Devick, DePaul University; Josephine Faulk, University of Illinois at Chicago; Sidney Greenfield, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Laura King, DePaul University; Firouzeh Logan, DePaul University; Dennia Martin, Loyola University Chicago; Rebecca McDermott, DePaul University; Joan Mitchanis, DePaul University; Miriam Moore, Emory University; John Quinn, DePaul University; George Rogers, University of Illinois at Chicago; Tim Schneiderwind, University of Illinois at Chicago; Orit Schwartz, Northwestern University; Susan Slocum, University of Chicago; Amy Sullivan, Loyola University Chicago, Brian Wolf, Loyola University Chicago.
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