March 2, 2021

CML videoseminar. Alastair Minnis, Hellish Imaginations in the Middle Ages. Imaginations of Hell, Imaginations in Hell

Online via Zoom

3:00 PM CET

Centre for Medieval Literature

Alastair Minnis (Yale) will be giving an online seminar 2 March on Hellish Imaginations in the Middle Ages. Imaginations of Hell, Imaginations in Hell. The seminar will be online via Zoom and all are welcome. 

To register please write to cml@sdu.dk 

Download poster with all CML spring seminars here

Abstract

Medieval literature and art abounds in descriptions of grotesque torments (punitive in hell, redemptive in purgatory) being meted out to the unhappy dead. But how can pain be experienced in the absence of the body? Can the main agents of suffering specified in Old Testament prophecies, fire and the worm, actually trouble a disembodied soul?  The relative merits of material and metaphorical understandings of the economy of pain were debated throughout the Middle Ages, and extended far beyond, surviving the abolition of purgatory within Protestantism. My book, and the present talk, explore some of those debates on hellish imaginations, describing the answers some of the cleverest minds of the time came up with, in their quest to understand several of the most difficult passages of Holy Scripture. Answers which range from the sublime to the seemingly ridiculous.


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