NUI Galway's 5th Annual Medieval Studies Lecture

Barbara Newman, Prof. of English, Religious Studies and Classics, Northwestern University (Illinois)
"Hidden Sins: Miraculous Mind Reading and the Confessional"

7pm Wed 17 October 2018
Ó hEocha Theatre (Arts Millennium Building 250)

Shortly after the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 mandated annual confession for all Christians, a new type of miracle began to appear in saints' Lives. Holy women and a few lay brothers—but curiously, not priests—came to be credited with miraculous mind reading. They could discern hidden, unconfessed sins by telepathy or clairvoyance, a potent form of knowledge that they used for both pastoral care and public shaming. This talk will investigate a group of mind-reading saints from the 13th-century Low Countries, asking how they exercised their charism and what ideological purposes it served.

Professor Newman (Ph.D. Yale), a past president of the Medieval Academy of America, is known for her work on medieval religious culture, comparative literature, and women's spirituality.  More details…

 Barbara Newman lecture 2018

4th Annual Medieval Studies Lecture

Charles Doherty, 'The High-Kingship of Ireland and international parallels' (21 March 2018)

Distinguished historian Charles Doherty, who is retired from the School of History and Archives in University College Dublin, has published extensively on many aspects of medieval Irish history, including economic history, hagiography, settlement, the impact of the Vikings on early Ireland, and kingship.

Recent work includes Glendalough: City of God (2011), which he co-edited with Linda Doran and Mary Kelly; Music and the Stars: Mathematics in Medieval Ireland (2013), which he co-edited with Mary Kelly, and Kings and Warriors in Early North-West Europe (2016) which he co-edited with Jan Erik Rekdal.

In 2009-13 he served as President of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, and in 2012-13 he was a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.