CFP: [Medieval] Sanctity and Power in Medieval English Literature

full name / name of organization: 
Erin Mullally
contact email: 

Call for papers for an edited collection exploring the connections between
sanctity and power in medieval literature. A frequent trope in medieval
accounts of saints, within both hagiographical and historical narratives,
is a significant and central relationship between the saint and an
authority figure; for example, St Judas confronts the queenly St. Elene in
the Old English poem Elene; St. Wulfstan confronts William the Conqueror in
the Vita Wulfstani; and Margery Kempe confronts her bishop, Philip
Repyngdon, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury, in her eponymous
biography. A positive relationship between saintly men and women and their
influential secular patrons both colors the reception of the saint within
the world and facilitates the saint's move towards a more temporal
authority. A negative relationship, by way of contrast, augments the
saint's depiction as a miles christi who rejects the temporal world and all
its temptations. Kinship relationships between saints and monarchs too can
be fraught with tensions. Whether patron, antagonist or kin, the
affiliations between saints and secular or ecclesiastical authorities can
create fissures between prominent cultural figures, as well as create
crises of conflicting loyalties.
        Submit essays exploring how saintly allegiance is represented, how power
and sanctity coincide, how dynastic saints use their influence in a secular
world, and how sanctity itself is a powerful force within medieval
narratives. Additional avenues potentially addressed in the collection are
whether a saintly king isâ€"by temporal criteriaâ€"a good king, whether saintly
men and women have different expectations of those figures who wield
temporal power, and whether figures in medieval narratives can maintain
power without fostering ecclesiastical blessings of that power.

A publisher has expressed interest in this volume, and we are seeking a few
additional essays to complete the collection.

By 1 September 2008, please submit full contact information (name, address,
phone/cell, and
email), a current c.v., and abstracts of 600-800 words or 20-25 page
papers to Dr. Erin Mullally at

Dr. Erin Mullally
 English Department
Le Moyne College
1419 Salt Springs Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13214.

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Thu May 08 2008 - 17:24:58 EDT