Devotion to the Holy Name Lecture

After a wonderful summer living on a couple of boats at the Toronto Island Marina, I’ve jetted off to Regina, Saskatchewan, where I’m giving a lecture at the University of Regina’s Campion College on Friday, September 8th. The lecture is at 3.30 PM in the Campion auditorium.

This talk, titled “‘in the ston a newe nam writen’: Devotion to the Holy Name in Late-Medieval England”, presents some of the work that’s come out of the first year of my postdoctoral fellowship at U of T’s Centre for Medieval Studies. In particular, the second half of the lecture features a discussion of materials I examined during a research trip to the Bodleian in June. (The week of research in Oxford was supported by a bursary from the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literatures, aka Medium Ævum.)  This discussion is the first airing of an important discovery I made in the course of my research, which I will be exploring in more detail in my paper at the Atlantic Medieval Association conference, Material Matters, at the end of the month.

Campion Lecture Title Slide

Here is the blurb from the lecture poster:

When is a name more than a name? Can the utterance of a name settle the mind, heal wounds, and combat evil? For devout English people in the Late Middle Ages, the Holy Name of Jesus could do all this—and more. Often touted as a means of personal connexion to the Lord, the cult of the Holy Name developed in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries into a wide-ranging social phenomenon that, by the Reformation, would occupy high strata of society. This talk explores the rise of the devotion in late-medieval England, with a particular focus on the earliest known copy of the votive mass for the Holy Name, the so-called Beauchamp missal. The lecture also explores the artistic, textual, and literary manifestations of the Holy Name devotion, including works by the Gawain-poet and Chaucer.

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