Margery Kempe: Madwoman or Mystic – a narrative approach to the representation of madness and mysticism in medieval England

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    51 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Historically, the boundaries between madness and mysticism have been characterised by fluidity. However, since the emergence of psychiatry in the 1800s, attempts have been made to place a firm distinction between the two experiences. In our increasingly Western, secularised society, experiences of mysticism have become marginalised outside of their religious context and in some cases, pathologised within the classificatory systems that construct mental illness. In this paper, I want to examine this contested boundary by discussing my analysis of a medieval woman’s experience of both madness and mysticism. I shall argue that rather than this text being interpreted as an early narrative of madness, it is primarily an attempted hagiography, that is a narrative of a saint's life.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNarrative and Fiction
    Subtitle of host publication An Interdisciplinary Approach
    EditorsD Robinson
    PublisherUniversity of Huddersfield
    Pages79-89
    ISBN (Print)9781862180635
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventNarrative and Memory Conference - University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom
    Duration: 14 Apr 2007 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceNarrative and Memory Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    CityHuddersfield
    Period14/04/07 → …

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Margery Kempe: Madwoman or Mystic – a narrative approach to the representation of madness and mysticism in medieval England'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this