Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 43649
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Waters , Claire M.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Maria Mirabilis: Beholding Mary in the Miracles
  • Source: Journal of Religious History 44, 4 ( 2020): Pages 407 - 421. Available with a subscription: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9809.12700.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Devotional Practices Jews Mary, Virgin, Saint- Image of Miracles
  • Award Note: Feminae Article of the Month, May 2021 [Posted August 2021]
  • Geographic Area: British Isles ; France
  • Century: 12- 13
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: In medieval miracles of the Virgin Mary that feature images, gazing at Mary and being seen by her can shape or change the identity of the miracle's protagonist. Such miracles often feature figures who have the potential to be adult male Christians but do not yet hold that status; they are transformed by their encounters with the malleable materiality of Marian images. Narratives of a Muslim devoted to a Marian statue and an English child who has to have an image of the Crucifixion explained to him show how questioning the nature of such images, and their material implications, could lead to belief. The widely popular story of “The Jewish Boy” extends the power of the image to suggest that merely looking upon it without understanding is sufficient to create a circuit of likeness and recognition that ultimately leads to conversion. In such miracles, an ostensibly surface-oriented or simplistic mode of religious devotion engages with gendered bodies in powerfully transformative ways that touch on complex theological issues. [Reproduced from the journal page on the Wiley Online Library website: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9809.12700.]
  • Author's Affiliation: University of California, Davis
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2020.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00224227 (print); 14679809 (online)