Saints, Infirmity, and Community in the Late Middle Ages
Saints, Infirmity, and Community in the Late Middle Ages
€ 117,00 excl. VAT
Number of pages
Publication date
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Also available as
eBook PDF - € 116,99
Table of Contents
Show Table of ContentsHide Table of Contents
-Approaching Holy Infirmity
-Canonization Processes as Sources for Holy Infirmity
Infirmitas Leading to Saintly Life
-Infirmity, Conversion, and the Path to Sainthood
-Ailing Health and Chastity in Marriage
Patientia and the Borders of Holy Infirmity
-(Un)diagnosing Holy Illness and Impairment
-Old Age and Infirmity
-Infirmity, Raptures, and the Marks of Passion
-The Saint and the Suffering Family
Abstinence, Devotional Practices, and Social Control
-Harmful penitentia and Discretion
-Controlling Austerity
Holy Infirmity and the Devotees
-Encountering the Infirm Saint
-The Saint as a Medicator
-Cure and the Benefits of Infirmity
Conclusions: Infirmity, community, and canonization
-Printed Sources

Reviews and Features

"Saints, Infirmity, and Community in the Late Middle Ages is an outstanding study of disability, gender, and sanctity in thirteenth- through fifteenth-century Europe. [...] Kuuliala makes an important contribution to our knowledge of medieval cultural constructs of bodily alterity."
- Julie Singer, Journal of British Studies, Vol. 62, Iss. 1

Jenni Kuuliala

Saints, Infirmity, and Community in the Late Middle Ages

Bodily suffering and patient, Christlike attitudes towards that suffering were among the key characteristics of sainthood throughout the medieval period. Saints, Infirmity, and Community in the Late Middle Ages analyses the meanings given to putative saints’ bodily infirmities in late medieval canonization hearings. How was an individual saint’s bodily ailment investigated in the inquests, and how did the witnesses (re)construct the saintly candidates’ ailments? What meanings were given to infirmity when providing proofs for holiness? This study depicts holy infirmity as an aspect of sanctity that is largely defined within the community, in continual dialogue with devotees, people suffering from doubt, the holy person, and the cultural patterns ascribed to saintly life. Furthermore, it analyses how the meanings given to saints’ infirmities influenced and reflected society’s attitudes towards bodily ailments — or dis/ability — in general.

Jenni Kuuliala

Dr. Jenni Kuuliala is a senior research fellow at the Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences at Tampere University, working on illness, disability, and healing in the late medieval and early modern period.