Abstract

Abstract:

This essay explores the relationship between medicine and medieval sacramental religion in York's pageant plays linked to the feast of Corpus Christi. The cycle play of Christ's baptism was assigned to the Barber-Surgeon's Guild at both York and Beverly, suggesting links between medicine and the play's subject matter. The York plays both acknowledge and advocate a culture of holy matter through references to charms common in the everyday healing practices of late-medieval England. In doing so, the plays provide us with paraliturgical rituals that cannot easily be dismissed as magic or superstition. Emerging evidence of overlap of prayer and devotional reading, charms, medicine, and devotional objects in the fifteenth century suggests that religious and medical paradigms and practices were thoroughly integrated in late-medieval and early-modern culture.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5111
Print ISSN
1556-8547
Pages
pp. 309-335
Launched on MUSE
2021-04-17
Open Access
No
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