Converse with the dead as a technology of the self : Agreements to return from the other-world in Peter of Cornwall’s Book of Revelations

Journal article


Barbezat, Michael D.. (2022). Converse with the dead as a technology of the self : Agreements to return from the other-world in Peter of Cornwall’s Book of Revelations. Journal of Medieval History. 48(1), pp. 32-56. https://doi.org/10.1080/03044181.2021.2018022
AuthorsBarbezat, Michael D.
Abstract

This article examines agreements to return from the afterlife made between friends, in the Liber revelationum (Book of Revelations) compiled by the Augustinian canon Peter of Cornwall around 1200. In the fulfilment of these agreements, dead friends remained present in the devotional lives of the living. They helped the living transform themselves, particularly through a type of epektasis, in which what began as a desire to see and speak with the dead out of curiosity and fascination with the spiritual world developed into a greater reverence and affection for God. These agreement stories illustrate how, in the context of twelfth-century religious communities, the affection – and even love – between two people could be seen to participate in and lead toward the love between human and God. This expansive role of human affection continued after death, illustrating some of the ways in which commemoration of the departed was an exercise in self-formation.

Keywordsfriendship; ghosts; visions; Peter of Cornwall; Book of Revelations; love; doubt; self-formation
Year2022
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Journal citation48 (1), pp. 32-56
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN1873-1279
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/03044181.2021.2018022
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85122133779
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range32-56
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online02 Jan 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted25 Jul 2020
Deposited01 Mar 2022
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