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dc.contributor.advisorHollywood, Amy Maria
dc.contributor.advisorWatson, Nicholas James
dc.contributor.authorSmith, Rachel
dc.date.accessioned2012-08-09T14:34:51Z
dash.embargo.terms2014-06-21en_US
dash.embargo.terms2014-06-21
dc.date.issued2012-08-09
dc.date.submitted2012
dc.identifier.citationSmith, Rachel. 2012. Exemplarity and its Limits in the Hagiographical Corpus of Thomas of Cantimpré. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.en_US
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/gsas.harvard:10382en
dc.identifier.urihttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9385642
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examines the hagiographical corpus of the Dominican preacher Thomas of Cantimpré (c. 1201–1270), a critical early respondent to the burgeoning women’s religious movement in the Southern Low Countries. Writing at a time when both lay and religious spirituality were being radically refigured in light of new organizational structures and devotional practices, Thomas’s hagiographical corpus reflects the diversity of vocational possibilities available for women and men in this period at a time of great religious experimentation and innovation. Using historical, literary, and theological methods, the dissertation examines the ways in which Thomas’s vitae struggle with the question of how lay and religious, male and female readers might, in Thomas’s words, “take up” the different kinds of figures Thomas offers as models for practice and objects of devotion. Each of the vitae offer unique solutions to this question even as they represent different sorts of persons as exemplary. An important assumption governing the dissertation is that hagiography is a vital part of the spiritual and theological tradition of Christianity. Thomas’s vitae, I argue, attempt to articulate a theology of exemplarity in order to address the issue of what constitutes sanctity, who can become a saint, and by what means sanctity is attained. For Thomas, exemplarity is animated by theological notions of incarnation and scriptural revelation. Christ, as manifest in his life and in the words of scripture, is the great exemplum for embodied lives. For each of Thomas’s saints, Christ is both the singular figure who saves and the one in whom the saint participates, raising the question of how the individual human being embodies and exemplifies Christ’s singularity. Thomas’s Lives will be shown, in the course of their narratives, to illumine the tension between the singularity of Christ and its repetition in the saintly figures represented in the vitae and the readers of those vitae. Exploration of this tension reveals great richness in Thomas’s works, showing that Thomas’s narrative voice often speaks doubly within a single vita, thematizing the limits and possibilities of exemplarity and its hagiographical representation.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dash.licenseLAA
dc.subjectDominicanen_US
dc.subjectMedievalen_US
dc.subjectreligious historyen_US
dc.subjecttheologyen_US
dc.subjectexemplarityen_US
dc.subjecthagiographyen_US
dc.subjectimitationen_US
dc.subjectwomenen_US
dc.titleExemplarity and its Limits in the Hagiographical Corpus of Thomas of Cantimpréen_US
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen_US
dc.date.available2014-06-21T07:30:38Z
thesis.degree.date2012en_US
thesis.degree.disciplineReligionen_US
thesis.degree.grantorHarvard Universityen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US


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