CFP: "Saint Paul: Reception, Representation, and Influence in the Middle Ages"

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Sponsored Session: Center for Medieval Studies, University of Minnesota , at 49th Int'l Congress on Medieval Studies Western Michigan University, May 8-11 2014, Kalamazoo, MI
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Paul beseeched his readers in Corinth, "be ye imitators of me, as I also am of Christ," and many attempted as much in the centuries that followed. This session invites assessment or re-assessment of Saint Paul and any aspect of his influence on medieval or early modern thought, life, or art. This influence has not always been salutary; Margery Kempe lamented that she had "suffyrd mech tribulacyon for cawse of hys wrytyng," specifically his injunction forbidding women to preach, and much recent scholarship on Paul has tended to focus on the difficulties that his refinements of early Christian morality have presented, in particular the limits he imposes on female authority and autonomy, his promotion of virginity, and his condemnation of homosexuality. Of course, Paul's importance extended well beyond his preoccupation with patriarch and sexual purity, influencing a broad range of ideas concerning evangelism, conversion, sanctity, free will, suffering, and martyrdom, among others. Moreover, his missionary adventures served as both a subject and literary template for story-tellers and hagiographers, and Paul himself (despite stylistic deficiencies that even Jerome could not help criticizing) provided a key example of authorship and self-narration.

This session welcomes abstracts from any disciplinary or theoretical perspective addressing the significance of these or other aspects of Paul's life and letters for his medieval or early modern heirs and/or medieval studies.

Kindly submit a brief abstract and the Participant Information Form via e-mail to Dr. Andrew Scheil at by 15 September 2013.

Organized by:
Benjamin D. Utter, Dept. of English, U .of Minnesota