This podcast features Professor Corinne Saunders (Department of English Studies, Durham University) on ‘Otherworldly Encounters: Voices and Visions in the Medieval Period.’ It was recorded on 18 February 2017 as part of the public symposium on ‘Voices, Visions & Divine Inspiration‘ – an event linked to the Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday exhibition.


Abstract: Whereas hearing voices now is frequently medicalised and associated with mental illness, in the Middle Ages voice-hearing and visions were most often connected with profound spiritual experience and revelation.  These otherworldly encounters could be fearful, but were also longed for, and formed the basis of some of the most famous mystical writing of all time.  Corinne Saunders will explore the spiritual voices and visions of a range of medieval visionaries from the celebrated French saint Joan of Arc, whose voices led her to raise an army, to the English mystic Julian of Norwich, whose Revelations of Divine Loveretain a powerful influence today, and Margery Kempe, author of the first autobiography in English.

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