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‘Symbols of Affectivity in the De anima Texts of the Twelfth Century’ and ‘Lazarus: the making of a saint’

Event type
European History 1150-1550
Event dates
, 5:30PM - 7:30PM
Online- via Zoom
Jack Ford (UCL), Alex Good (UCL)
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Jack Ford is a PhD candidate at UCL. Jack maintains that ‘affectivity’ – the disposition of the human will towards either virtuous or sinful acts – is central to understanding attitudes towards the body, salvation and the supernatural in the Middle Ages. His thesis therefore asks: how were the five senses thought by philosophers and theologians to be connected with emotion (affectus) and the intellect (intellectus)? In what ways did doctrines of Original Sin shape medieval attitudes towards the body and the body’s senses in cosmology, Christian ritual practice, medicine and magic? And to what extent did the Greco-Arabic philosophy arriving in Europe from the twelfth century complicate the predominantly Neoplatonic paradigm of sensation established by Saint Augustine?

Alex Good is also a PhD candidate at UCL. In his paper, Alex will argue that in the thirteenth century churchmen assigned to Saint Lazarus a new persona, that of Bishop Lazarus, a figure of ecclesiastical authority and a guide to the Christendom's role in salvation history. In the later Middle Ages, with the growth of lay piety, the focus of eschatological interest shifted again from the institutional to the personal, with accounts of his first, brief, stay in the underworld. What does the story of the cult of Lazarus say about the opportunistic and malleable nature of saintly constructs?