A Companion to Medieval Miracle Collections


Miracle accounts provide a window into the views and conceptions of the laity, the uneducated, women, and even children, whose voices are mostly missing from other types of sources. They are not, however, simple to use. This volume offers a methodological insight into the medieval world of the miraculous. Consisting of 15 cutting-edge articles by leading scholars in the field, it provides versatile approaches to the origins, methods, and recording techniques of various types of miracle narratives. It offers fascinating case studies from across Europe, which show how miracle accounts can be used as a source for various topics such as lived religion, healing, protection, and family and gender.

Contributors are Nicole Archambeau, Leigh Ann Craig, Ildikó Csepregi, Jussi Hanska, Emilia Jamroziak, Sari Katajala-Peltomaa, Jenni Kuuliala, Iona McCleery, Jyrki Nissi, Roberto Paciocco, Donald S. Prudlo, Marika Räsänen, Jonas Van Mulder, and Louise Elizabeth Wilson.

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Sari Katajala-Peltomaa, Tampere University, focuses on late medieval canonization processes, particularly lived religion, gender, and family in a comparative European perspective. Her recent publications include Demonic Possession and Lived Religion in Later Medieval Europe (2020).

Jenni Kuuliala, Tampere University, has published widely on premodern hagiography and cults of saints, disability, and social history of medicine. Among her publications is Saints, Infirmity, and Community in the Late Middle Ages (2020).

Iona McCleery, University of Leeds, publishes on the history of medicine, the cult of the saints, and the history of food with a focus on late-medieval Portugal. She is editor of the Cultural History of Medicine in the Middle Ages (2021).
"This rich and detailed study through fifteen scholarly essays is a very welcome addition to medieval scholarship [...] In gathering together the expertise of specialists working on different aspects of miracle narratives, this volume provides an indispensable resource for both students and scholars. It provides a comprehensive introduction for those new to miracle collections, as well as offering a more nuanced and stimulating approach for those already familiar with this versatile and popular genre." Anne E. Bailey, in The Medieval Review, 22.04.09. See the full review here.

Miracle Collections in Their Contexts
  Sari Katajala-Peltomaa, Jenni Kuuliala and Iona McCleery

1 Writing Miracle Collections
  Louise Elizabeth Wilson

2 Miracles in Monastic Culture
  Emilia Jamroziak

3 The Canonization of Saints in the Middle Ages
Procedure, Documentation, Meanings
  Roberto Paciocco

4 Practical Matters
Canonization Records in the Making
  Sari Katajala-Peltomaa and Jenni Kuuliala

5 Heretics, Hemorrhages, and Herrings
Miracles and the Canonizations of Dominican Saints
  Donald S. Prudlo

6 Miracula and Exempla – A Complicated Relationship
  Jussi Hanska

7 Rituals and Spaces of Devotion in Cistercian Everyday Religion
  Marika Räsänen

8 Pilgrimage as a Feature of Miracles
  Leigh Ann Craig

9 Physical Disability and Bodily Difference
  Jenni Kuuliala

10 Madness, Demonic Possession, and Methods of Categorization
  Sari Katajala-Peltomaa

11 Death in a Birth Chamber
Birth Attendants as Expert Witnesses in the Canonization Process of Bernardino of Siena
  Jyrki Nissi

12 Escaping Justice?
The Politics of Liberation Miracles in Late Medieval Portugal
  Iona McCleery

13 Protection Miracles as Evidence for the Shifting Political Landscape of Fourteenth-Century Provence
  Nicole Archambeau

14 The Mobilization of Thought
A Narratological Approach to Representations of Dream and Vision in Late Medieval Miracle Collections in the Low Countries
  Jonas Van Mulder

15 Miracle Types and Narratives
The Case of Saint Margaret of Hungary
  Ildikó Csepregi

Selected Bibliography

The target audience is medievalist scholars, lecturers, students at MA level, and Ph.D. candidates working in a variety of fields related to medieval history and hagiography.
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