The “Popularization” of the Affective?: Friar Thomas of Hales and His Audience

  • Lara Farina
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Throughout this study, I have attempted to understand erotic discourse within the context of the religious institutions that specifically shape its forms and functions. In the case of Christ I, monastic liturgical practice demands an erotics that supports communal participation in the sacred events marked by the monastic calendar. The isolating spatial practices of anchorites, in contrast, give rise to an erotic identification with the cell that is privatized, and perceived as both dangerous and necessary. In the monastic and anchoritic works discussed so far, then, an understanding of institutionally specific practices—practices that comprise a material tradition of worship— illumines the ends of eroticism. It suggests, that is, how erotic discourses are played out in the world of the texts’ readers.


Meditative Practice Vernacular Language Medieval Literature Spiritual Union Secular Life 
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© Lara Farina 2006

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