Conference Announcement: The Medieval Mystical Tradition, Exeter Symposium VIII

The Medieval Mystical Tradition
Exeter Symposium VIII

July 17-20, 2011

The Exeter Symposium is established as the premier forum for new work on the ‘Middle English Mystics’ of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and their contexts; their precursors in the languages of (usually post-Conquest) England, and their afterlives and successors up to and including the age of print; lesser-known spiritual and devotional authors, texts and practices that may be related to them in some way; the reception of continental mystical works and their authors in England; the history and spirituality of the contemplative orders and of others attempting to follow a contemplative lifestyle.

The eighth symposium will take place at Charney Manor in Oxfordshire, a thirteenth-century manor house built as a grange of Abingdon Abbey ( The symposium will begin on the evening of July 17 and finish with lunch on July 20, 2011.

The following speakers and papers are now confirmed.

Christine Cooper-Rompato (University of Utah), ‘Numeracy and Innumeracy in The Book of Margery Kempe and Late Medieval Religious Writings’

Vincent Gillespie (University of Oxford), ‘Less Light on Julian of Norwich’

C. Annette Grisé (McMaster University, Ontario), ‘Richard Whytford and the Mixed Life Audience’

Ian Johnson (University of St Andrews), ‘Heavenly Boeces and the Variable Translation of Transcendence’

Liz Herbert Mcavoy (Swansea University), ‘Envisioning Reform: A Vision of Purgatory and the Anchoritic Female Gaze in the later Middle Ages’

Sarah MacMillan (University of Birmingham), ‘Mortifying the Mind: Asceticism in Late-Medieval Mysticism’

Christiania Whitehead (Warwick University), ‘The Meditations of the Monk of Farne’

Nicole R. Rice (St John’s University, New York), ‘The Pore Caitif and Lollard Devotion’

Maggie Ross (independent scholar), ‘Behold Not the Cloud of Experience’

Steven Rozenski, jr (Harvard University), ‘Richard Rolle and Henry Suso: Devotional Mobility and Contemplative Culture in Fourteenth-Century England and Germany’

David Russell (University of Southampton), ‘Religious Virgin Mothers: Margery Kempe and Caterina da Siena’

Michael G Sargent (City University of New York), ‘The Exegete’s Teeth: Walter Hilton on Scriptural Interpretation’

There will also be opportunity for emerging scholars to give short presentations on their work in progress.

The Symposia aim for an intimate and intense-yet-relaxed atmosphere, with ample time for both formal and informal discussion of the papers and ideas, and plenty of other more or less mystical matters. The number of participants is restricted to thirty, so early booking is advised. Informal enquiries are welcome, by email ( or by post to the address given on the accompanying Booking Form.

Eddie Jones

November 2010

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