Translating Christ in the Middle Ages: Gender, Authorship, and the Visionary Text

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Translating Christ in the Middle Ages: Gender, Authorship, and the Visionary Text

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Description

This study reveals how women s visionary texts played a central role within medieval discourses of authorship, reading, and devotion.

From the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries, women across northern Europe began committing their visionary conversations with Christ to the written word. Translating Christ in this way required multiple transformations: divine speech into human language, aural event into textual artifact, visionary experience into linguistic record, and individual encounter into communal repetition. This ambitious study shows how women s visionary texts form an underexamined literary tradition within medieval religious culture. Barbara Zimbalist demonstrates how, within this tradition, female visionaries developed new forms of authorship, reading, and devotion. Through these transformations, the female visionary authorized herself and her text, and performed a rhetorical imitatio Christi that offered models of interpretive practice and spoken devotion t