Leeds 2013: Mighty Protectors for the Merchant Class (10 Sept 2012; 1-4 July 2013)
Mighty Protectors for the Merchant Class: Saints as Intercessors between the Wealthy and the Divine.
We seek papers for a session at the 2013 International Medieval Congress in Leeds, England, dedicated to the relationship between saintly intercession and mercantile life in medieval Europe.
By the late medieval period, merchants formed an integral part of urban society; among their activities, they facilitated trade between city centers, participated in the governing of cities, and were patrons of churches and monasteries. At the same time, the wealth that they amassed and their sometimes morally dubious activities, such as money lending, often left merchants fearful of what the afterlife would bring. As a result, many merchants chose to appeal directly to individual saints for intercession. This session seeks to explore the religious lives of these elite members of urban society, specifically considering the saints to whom merchants appealed for their earthly protection and heavenly salvation as well as the manner in which they made these appeals.
As an interdisciplinary discussion of the relationship between merchants and their saintly protectors across the medieval West, this session will invite papers examining evidence of particular relationships between merchants and saints. These might include examination of merchant's wills, artistic patronage, parochial endowments, manuscript collections, and pilgrimage as well as the religious practices of merchant's confraternities and guilds. The session will welcome papers from all geographic regions and all disciplines including, but not limited to, history, art history, literature, religious studies, and music.
Please submit 100 word abstracts, by 10 September 2012, for 20 minute papers (via email, as Microsoft Word or PDF documents) to Cynthia Turner Camp, Assistant Professor of English, University of Georgia (ctcamp at uga dot edu).