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Lydia Hayes Contributes to: Sensual and Sensory Experiences in the Middle Ages

Lydia Hayes, a recent St Andrews Medieval Studies PhD graduate and former SAIMS intern, has had an article published in an edited volume. Sensual and Sensory Experiences in the Middle Ages: On Pleasure, Fear, Desire and Pain, has just been released by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. As the description on the publisher’s webpage explains:

The publication’s cover illustration; copyright Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

This volume shows the different aspects of sensory experiences that medieval people conveyed through documents, literary accounts, and religious practices. The unifying theme here is how pleasure, pain, desire, and fear appear in different—sometimes conflicting—combinations and settings: from the private space of the monastic cell to the shared hustle of the market. The geographic focus of this volume is Mediterranean Europe, although it also touches on other Western contexts. The combination of different points of view here provides an original contribution to the study of sensory experiences in the Middle Ages.

Lydia’s article, ‘The Experience of Touching Christ: Imitating the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalen in High Medieval Biblical Commentaries’, examines the ways that the sense of touch was described by medieval authors in biblical expository texts. Some medieval authors used the experiences that biblical women had with the living Christ to describe their own experiences with the resurrected Christ that they were able to have through the sacraments. Lydia’s article has been published alongside the works of other interdisciplinary medievalists who are exploring medieval perceptions of the senses and sensuality.