dates de séjour
projet de recherche
Stigmata - From Saint Francis to Padre Pio. Bodily Effects of Visions from the Middle Ages to the Present
This book-project is relying upon my previous studies on the medieval stigmatized fame of Saint Margaret of Hungary, and its broader context: the Cistercian and the Dominican Order’s enduring endeavour in the Middle Ages to find a female stigmatized counterpart to Saint Francis of Assisi. This rivalry prompted the emergence of several claims for stigmatized Beguines or nuns associated to these two orders: Elisabeth of Spalbeek, Christina of Stommeln, Margaret of Hungary, Lukardis of Oberweimar, and others. The Dominicans finally obtained their objective with the canonization of Saint Catherine of Siena, but this same rivalry continued with new living saints of the Dominicans: Lucia Brocadelli, Osanna Andreasi, Caterina Racconigi.
Another background for these researches has been provided by the collaborative research group dealing with a historical, anthropological and psychological enquiry on visions, a group we have been animating with my anthropologist colleague, William Christian since 2007. As a researcher interested in a historical-anthropological analysis of late medieval spirituality, I should like to situate now the phenomena of the stigmatics in the broader context of all kinds of bodily effects of visions. Furthermore, I should like to study the phenomenon from its emergence with the new spirituality of the mendicant orders, and, above all with the towering personality of Saint Francis, not only throughout the centuries of the middle ages. My proposal is to open it up to a real longue durée, and analyze on the medieval bases also the modern and contemporary cases, which have a much more ample documentation, adding medical and psychological record to textual and iconographic sources
Cette résidence a bénéficié d'une aide de l'État gérée par l'Agence nationale de la recherche dans le cadre des programmes d'Investissements d'avenir au titre du Laboratoire d'excellence RFIEA+.
Professor at the Department of Medieval Studies at the Central European University in Budapest. He is Fellow at the IEA-Paris in 2011-2012, with a project on “Stigmata – from Saint Francis to Padre Pio.” Born in 1950, he graduated in history in 1974 at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest), where he returned to teach in 1984. He was in 1994-1997 head of the Department of Medieval European History.
In 1992 he founded the Department of Medieval Studies at the Central European University, which he directed from 1991to1997 and from 2005 to 2007. In 1997-2002 and 2008 he served as Rector of Collegium Budapest – Institute for Advanced Study, and he remained there as Permanent Fellow until 2011.
His main academic interests are historical anthropology of popular religion (sainthood, miracle beliefs, healing, magic, witchcraft); medieval and modern visions and their bodily manifestations, and comparative cultural and religious history of Hungary and Central Europe in an all-European context. His books include The Uses of Supernatural Power, Cambridge/Princeton, 1990; Holy Rulers and Blessed Princesses, Cambridge, 2002; Witchcraft Mythologies and Persecutions (ed. with Éva Pócs), Budapest, 2008.