Ihesu Dulcis: Devotion to the Holy Name in Medieval Europe (ICMS 2017)

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Benjamin S. W. Barootes

Ihesu Dulcis: Devotion to the Holy Name in Medieval Europe


ICMS Kalamazoo 2017


In 1494, after much championing by Lady Margaret Beaufort and promulgation by the Provinces of Canterbury and York several years earlier, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus received papal sanction. As Rob Lutton reminds us, however, these official recognitions simply granted added authority to “what had already become a widely popular devotional cult.”[1] Growing out of Cistercian tracts of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Holy Name devotion was linked to late-medieval vernacular religious practice in Germany (Heinrich Suso), Italy (John Colombini and Bernardino of Siena), and England (Richard Rolle). In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, devotion to the Holy Name proliferated with the founding of confraternities, chantries, and altars dedicated to the Name of Jesus.[2] The cult continued until the Reformation, with some groups and practices persisting into the seventeenth century.


This session welcomes papers about any aspect of  Holy Name devotion, including (but not limited to) its foundations, its growth, and its relationship to Latin and vernacular religious and literary traditions. Topics could examine: the development of local confraternities, private or household devotion, art and architecture, Holy Name devotion and other Christocentric beliefs and practices, the relationship with Lollardy, post-Reformation afterlives, and so forth. This session aims to add to the recently reinvigorated scholarship of this fascinating, late-medieval devotional cult.[3]


Please submit 250-word abstracts, a brief bio, and the ICMS PIF to benjamin.barootes@mail.mcgill.ca by 15 September 2016.

[1] Rob Lutton, “‘Love this Name that is IHC’: Vernacular Prayers, Hymns and Lyrics to the Holy Name of Jesus in Pre-Reformation England,” in Elisabeth Salter and Helen Wicker, eds., Vernacularity in England and Wales, c. 1300-1550 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 119-45, at 124.

[2] R.W. Pfaff, New Liturgical Feasts in Later Medieval England (Oxford: Clarendon, 1970), 78-79.

[3] See, for instance, Rob Lutton, “The Name of Jesus, Nicholas Love's Mirror, and Christocentric Devotion in Late Medieval England,” in I. Johnson and A.F. Westphall, eds., The Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ: Exploring the Middle English Tradition (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013), 19-53; and Sebastian I. Sobecki, “Lydgate’s Kneeling Retraction: The Testament as a Literary Palinode,” Chaucer Review 49.3 (2015): 265-93.