Graduate Seminar: Karen Scott

Karen Scott, DePaul University
Karen Scott, DePaul University
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Graduate Seminar
Friday, September 30, 2005 to Friday, December 9, 2005

Medieval Representations of the Human Person: Saints and Mystics

Karen Scott, DePaul University

How did medieval Europeans understand the human person, how did their views evolve over time, and why? This course will examine one important aspect of this large problem by exploring medieval religion and identity, and particularly the ideas of human exceptionality and exemplarity conveyed in saints’ lives, spiritual autobiographies, and mystical writings.

 After a historiographical overview of the general problem of medieval identity, the class will focus on the very close analysis of a variety of primary sources written by and about five exceptional saints and mystics from the high and later Middle Ages: Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Assisi, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, and Catherine of Siena. We will read a variety of hagiographic texts about these figures, as well as the spiritual treatises and mystical autobiographies that they composed themselves; and we will spend some time also on the representation of saints and mystics in the visual arts. In analyzing these sources, the seminar will pay special attention to discerning and interpreting the significance of biblical, hagiographic, and spiritual typologies as expressions and shapers of medieval identity.

Participants: Sara Barfield, Northern Illinois University; Nicholas Burka, University of Chicago; Kristi DiClemente, Western Michigan University; Kristin Doll, Northwestern University;  Dana Gavre, University of Chicago; Terri Jenkins-Suggs, Western Michigan University; Jenny Lee, Northwestern University; Kate Mesler, Northwestern University; Tory Pearman, Loyola University Chicago; Victoria Prussing, Northwestern University; Wendy Roberts, Northwestern University; Matthew Rogers, Northwestern University; Darren Trongeau, DePaul University; Lora Walsh, Northwestern University.

Learn more about Center for Renaissance Studies programs for graduate students.

See More Like This