Publication – Richard Matthew Pollard, « Imagining the Medieval Afterlife »

Where do we go after we die? This book traces how the European Middle Ages offered distinctive answers to this universal question, evolving from Antiquity through to the sixteenth century, to reflect a variety of problems and developments. Focussing on texts describing visions of the afterlife, alongside art and theology, this volume explores heaven, hell, and purgatory as they were imagined across Europe, as well as by noted authors including Gregory the Great and Dante. A cross-disciplinary team of contributors including historians, literary scholars, classicists, art historians and theologians offer not only a fascinating sketch of both medieval perceptions and the wide scholarship on this question: they also provide a much-needed new perspective. Where the twelfth century was once the ‘high point’ of the medieval afterlife, the essays here show that the afterlives of the early and later Middle Ages were far more important and imaginative than we once thought.

Richard Matthew Pollard studied at Toronto and then Cambridge, and his doctoral thesis won the 2010 Leonard Boyle prize. Aside from numerous articles and chapters, he completed the first new edition of the Latin version of Josephus’ Antiquities since 1524 and is preparing a new critical edition of the Visio Wettini.

Table des matières :

List of abbreviations
List of figures

Introduction – Richard M. Pollard

Part I. Chronological Surveys:

Just deserts in the ancient pagan afterlife – Susanna Braund and Emma Hilliard
Visions of the afterlife in the early medieval west – Yitzhak Hen
A Morbid efflorescence: envisaging the afterlife in the Carolingian period – Richard M. Pollard
The afterlife in the medieval Celtic-speaking world – Elizabeth Boyle
Anglo-Saxon visions of heaven and hell – Gernot Wieland
Otherworld journeys of the central middle ages – Carl Watkins
Visions of the otherworlds in the late middle ages, c.1300–c.1500 – Gwenfair Walters Adams

Part II. Theological Perspectives:

Purgatory’s intercessors – Isabel Moreira
The theology of the afterlife in the early middle ages, c.600–c.1100 – Helen Foxhall Forbes
Afterdeath locations and return appearances, from scripture to Shakespeare – Henry Ansgar Kelly

Part III. Artistic Impressions:

‘Eye hath not seen […] which things God hath prepared […] ‘: imagining heaven and hell in Romanesque and Gothic art – Adam R. Stead

Part IV. Notable Authors and Texts

Visions and the afterlife in Gregory’s dialogues – Jesse Keskiaho
The vision of Tnugdal – Eileen Gardiner
The afterlife in the visionary experiences of the female mystics – Debra L. Stoudt
Dante’s other-worldly surprises and this-worldly polemic – George Corbett
Cumulative bibliography.

Informations pratiques :

Richard Matthew Pollard, Imagining the Medieval Afterlife, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020. 23 x 15 cm, ISBN : 9781107177918. Prix : 75 £.

Source : Cambridge University Press

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