The Monstrous Middle Ages
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004
"The figure of the monster in medieval culture functions as a vehicle for a range of intellectual and spiritual inquiries, from questions of language and representation to issues of moral, theological, and cultural value. Monstrosity is bound up with questions of body image and deformity, nature and knowledge, hybridity and horror. To explore a culture's attitudes to the monstrous is to comprehend one of its most important symbolic tools.
The Monstrous Middle Ages looks at both the representation of literal monsters and the consumption and exploitation of monstrous metaphors in a wide variety of high and late-medieval cultural productions, from travel writings and mystical texts to sermons, manuscript illuminations and maps. Individual essays explore the ways in which monstrosity shaped the construction of gender and sexual identity, religious symbolism, and social prejudice in the Middle Ages.
Reading the Middle Ages through its monsters provides an opportunity to view medieval culture from fresh perspectives. The Monstrous Middle Ages will be essential reading for anyone interested in the concept of monstrosity and its significance for both medieval cultural production and contemporary critical practice." - publisher
1. Introduction: Conceptualizing the Monstrous - Bettina Bildhauer and Robert Mills
2. Jesus as Monster - Robert Mills
3. Monstrous Masculinities in Julian of Norwich's A Revelation of Love and The Book of Margery Kempe - Liz Herbert Mcavoy
4. Blood, Jews and Monsters in Medieval Culture - Bettina Bildhauer
5. The Other Close at Hand: Gerald of Wales and the 'Marvels of the West' - Asa Simon Mittman
6. Idols and Simulacra: Paganity, Hybridity and Representation in Mandeville 's Travels - Sarah Salih
7. Demonizing the Night in Medieval Europe: A Temporal Monstrosity? - Deborah Youngs and Simon Harris
8. Apocalyptic Monsters: Animal Inspirations for the Iconography of Medieval North European Devourers - Aleks Pluskowski
9. Hell on Earth: Encountering Devils in the Medieval Landscape - Jeremy Harte
10. Encountering the Monstrous: Saints and Dragons in Medieval Thought - Samantha J.E. Riches
210 p., illustrations, index.
Last update December 6, 2021