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Promised BodiesTime, Language, and Corporeality in Medieval Women's Mystical Texts$
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Patricia Dailey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161206

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161206.001.0001

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The Mystic’s Two Bodies

The Mystic’s Two Bodies

The Temporal and Material Poetics of Visionary Texts

(p.63) 2 The Mystic’s Two Bodies
Promised Bodies

Patricia Dailey

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the temporal and interpretive roles of inner and outer bodies in connecting visions to embodied experience. Focusing on Hadewijch's Visions, and at the same time looking into St. Hildegard's and Marguerite d'Oingt's visionary activity, the chapter discusses how visions emphasize the inner person's relation to the outer, helping to shape the embodiment of spiritual life from the inside out. Hadewijch's visions demonstrate how her representations of inner and outer persons perform in temporal and mnemonic ways derived from Paul and Augustine, yet adopt functions closely aligned with the commentators of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries—who were greatly influenced by Origen. In women's visions, the inner senses read and perceive divine truths and navigate the vision like a living text. However, the lesson of the vision does not end there; it must be performed by the outer person, and hence translated into the language of lived embodiments.

Keywords:   inner bodies, outer bodies, Hadewijch, Visions, St. Hildegard, Marguerite d'Oingt, visionary, divine truths, lived embodiments

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