The “Institut Isabel de Villena d’Estudis Medievals i Renaixentistes” (IVEMIR-UCV) and the Office for the Transfer of Research Results (OTRI) of the Catholic University of Valencia (UCV) celebrate the International Online Symposium from October 5 to 7 ‘Protagonists and authors in the late medieval European spirituality’. This meeting of experts focuses on the study of the writers, often unknown, and the female protagonists of the texts on spiritual themes written between the 13th and 17th centuries.
The organizer of the symposium and director of the IVEMIR-UCV, Anna Peirats, explains that the late medieval period “marks a change in the type of spirituality that existed since the 11th century and, above all, after the influence exerted by Franciscanism from the 11th century. XIII”. “Although throughout Europe it was common to resort to meditation manuals in Latin, as is the case of the Meditationes Vitae Christi or the Arbor vitae crucifixae Iesu by Ubertino de Casale, with the change in mentality experienced from the fourteenth century onwards, it is also explained the origin of Devotio Moderna, a new spiritual current that emerged in the Netherlands, which marked a turning point in terms of the proliferation of images, devotional literature and preaching”.
Isabel de Villena, formation of women, holiness and art in Europe
The opening speech will be given by Professor Rafael Alemany, from the University of Alicante, one of the leading current specialists in the study of the works of the Valencian classics and, in general, in Europe. On this occasion, the presentation will be a novel contribution, in terms of the comparison between two religious writers: Isabel de Villena, to whom the IVEMIR-UCV Research Institute is dedicated, and Teresa de Cartagena.
Among the specialists participating in the symposium, it is worth highlighting experts from European universities, Regarding approaches to the figure of women: Erica Baricci, professor at the University of Milan, will reflect on language, comedy and the female figure in the epithalamium Shir naeh; Alessandra Bartolomei Romagnoli (Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome) and specialist in hagiography, will speak on the image of Christ in the visions of medieval mystics; Simone Sari (currently a researcher at the University of Barcelona) will deliver a conference on the cult of the Sisters of Mary in the fifteenth century between Paris and Valencia. Luca Pieroni (Antonianum Pontifical University, Rome) will also participate in the symposium, on the female figure in the sermons of San Giacomo della Marca and Alfonso Marini (Sapienza Università di Roma), on the Poor Clares between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, specifically, on the figure of Valeria Campanazzi.
Similarly, and at the national level, the presentation by Ginés Marco, dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Humanities (UCV) will focus on the study of the mystical context of the time from a philosophical perspective. On the formation and daily life of women in relation to worship and devotion, Marco Antonio Coronel (University of Valencia), Carmel Ferragud (Institut Interuniversitari López Piñero, University of Valencia) will speak on the relationship between women in medieval hospitals and the spiritual health of the soul.
In the field of art, David Sánchez (Universidad Católica de Ávila) will address the study of the pious and artistic dispositions of the women of the Castilian nobility, as is the case of María de Herrera, founder of the Hospital de la Anunciación de Ávila; Francesc Granell, a researcher at IVEMIR-UCV, will provide an innovative study on the figure of Violant d’Hongria in the icon of the Virgen de la Seo in Valencia, and Rubén Gregori, also a researcher at IVEMIR-UCV, will analyze the setting of the first appearance of Christ through art before the captives of limbo and the Virgin Mary.
Likewise, and in the field of female devotion and worship, it is worth highlighting the presentations by José Antonio Calvo, vice-rector for research at the Catholic University of Ávila, on the spiritual work of María de Jesús, a 16th-century Discalced Carmelite nun. Likewise, Maria Àngels Herrero (University of Alicante), will study the relationship between spiritual confessions in the construction of the reputation of female sainthood in the 17th century; Jacob Mompó (IVEMIR-UCV) will analyze, in this sense, the signs of female religiosity in the procedural documents.
For his part, Miguel Navarro, deputy director of IVEMIR-UCV, of the Faculty of Theology (UCV), will speak on the relationship between the patriarch Juan de Ribera and the pious, while Josep Lluís Martos (University of Alicante) will focus his presentation on the prayers or poetic glosses referring to the Virgin in the Manuscript of the Natzaré or Nazareno of the Historical Library of the University of Valencia. The director of IVEMIR-UCV, Anna Peirats, will analyze the aesthetic beauty of the allegory, as an example of innovative rhetoric compared to previous vitae at European level, in Isabel de Villena’s Vita Christi, centered on the figure of the Virgin Mary. Similarly, Carme Arronis (University of Alicante) will analyze the literary testimonies of the cult of the Virgin in early Modernity; and on the relevance of the biography of Isabel de Villena and its survival through the centuries, Professor Vicent Josep Escartí, from the University of Valencia, will speak.
IVEMIR-UCV: Valencian letters in their European humanistic context
The IVEMIR-UCV scientific and technical research and dissemination center focuses its activity on the study of texts on spiritual themes. Examples of these texts are the vitae christi, the manuals of dying well, the books of hours, the prayer books, sermons and lectionaries of the time, as well as the confession manuals, treatises or lives of saints, from which it is established an interdisciplinary study through different approaches, such as theology, history, art, language, culture and society from the 13th to 17th centuries in Europe and in the context of the Romance languages.
This Symposium is sponsored by the Ministry of Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society. The Holy Cathedral Church of Valencia and the Spanish Institute of Ecclesiastical History (Spanish National Church in Rome) collaborate in its organization.