Medieval Saints' Lives: The Gift, Kinship and Community in Old French Hagiography

Overview

Contending that the study of hagiography is significant both for a consideration of medieval literature and for current theoretical debates in medieval studies, this book considers a range of Old French and Anglo-Norman texts, using modern theories of kinship and community to show how saints' lives construe social and sexual relations. Focusing on the depiction of the gift, kinship and community, the book maintains that social and sexual systems play a key role in vernacular hagiography. Such systems, along with ...
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Overview

Contending that the study of hagiography is significant both for a consideration of medieval literature and for current theoretical debates in medieval studies, this book considers a range of Old French and Anglo-Norman texts, using modern theories of kinship and community to show how saints' lives construe social and sexual relations. Focusing on the depiction of the gift, kinship and community, the book maintains that social and sexual systems play a key role in vernacular hagiography. Such systems, along with the desires they produce and control, are, it is argued, central to hagiography's religious functions, particularly its role as a vehicle of community formation. In attempting to think beyond the limits of human relationships, saints' lives nonetheless create an environment in which queer desires and modes of connection become possible, suggesting that, in this case at least, the orthodox nurtures the queer. This book thus suggests not only that medieval hagiography is worthy of greater attention but also that this corpus might provide an important resource for theorizing community in its medieval contexts and for thinking it in the present. EMMA CAMPBELL is Associate Professor of French at the University of Warwick.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Demonstrates with grace and style how the field of vernacular hagiography conjoins the disciplines of theology, history, anthropology, mythology, and critical theory. (...) Its refashioning of the ways in which we discuss hagiography within the medieval and modern canon could not be more timely. MEDIUM AEVUM This riveting and wide-ranging study is most welcome. FRENCH STUDIES The ideological complexities of Old French saints' lives are perceptively analysed in this concentrated and scholarly study, which contributes significantly not only to hagiological research but also to cultural anthropology and current theories of gender, identity, and literary reception. (...) this riveting and wide-ranging study is most welcome. FRENCH STUDIES (An) extremely useful book. All those interested in hagiography, medieval kinship, and reading communities will read it with interest. CHURCH HISTORY Wide-ranging and erudite.Campbell is a medievalist's medievalist, but she is as at ease in her analyses of manuscripts as in her crystalline glosses of writers like Agamben, Butler, Lacan, and Nancy. L'ESPRIT CREATEUR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781843841807
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/20/2008
  • Series: Gallica
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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