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Dr. Sharon Rowley Delivers Lecture on Medieval Miracles

English professor's Kings College lecture probes spiritual and material worlds as seen in early literary accounts.

  Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Dr. Sharon Rowley
Dr. Sharon Rowley

Dr. Sharon Rowley, professor of English, delivered a lecture at Kings College in London, titled "Indeterminate Bones and Elemental Miracles in Early Medieval England." The talk explored questions about the interface between the spiritual and the material in medieval accounts of miracles, contrasting things like precious stones or "holy matter," and more earthly materials such as earth, water and light.

"While most discussions of these miracles mention the elements, scholars tend to emphasize the healing virtus of the saint, or discuss questions of veracity and source, rather than the elemental materials," says Rowley. "I believe that there’s much to learn from the study of the elemental and unadorned relics found in the narrative accounts from early England. This study challenges existing generalizations about the early medieval period, and sheds light on changing beliefs and practices in early medieval England."

Rowley specializes in Old and Middle English language and literature. She holds a PhD from the University of Chicago.


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