Between cloister and papacy: The impact of bridal imagery on power relations in Western Europe, 1100-1400 (completed)
This postdoctoral research project will analyse how and why a specific metaphor - the bride of Christ - emerged from the world of theological texts and came to shape central aspects of the ideological and Institutional development in medieval Western Europe
About the project
The project engages in both a theoretical and a specific analysis of the impact of metaphor. It will analyse how and why a specific metaphor - the bride of Christ - emerged from the world of theological texts in the later medieval period to shape central aspects of the social, ideological, and institutional development in Western Europe. As bridal imagery moved between the ideological hothouse of the cloister and the political and pragmatic arena of the reform papacy, it engendered complex ideological models that established and negotiated both the institution of marriage and structures of political hierarchies in Western Europe. The project interrogates in what ways ideological and cognitive underpinnings related to body and gender helped shape constructions of authority and power relations. In a broader and theoretical sense it deals with cognitive constraints on the social propagation of meaning.
The source material analysed in the project includes sermons, treatises, letters, ceremonial books, in addition to lay literature and visual representations.
The project is funded by the RCN's FRIPRO programme.