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Title: Schrift- und Schreibmystik : Christina von Hane
Author: Kirakosian, Racha
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The subject of my thesis is a little-studied hagiographical work that gives important insights into rewriting processes and their significance in medieval textual culture. The anonymous Life of Christina of Hane, a thirteenth-century Premonstratensian nun from the Palatinate, is an example of bridal mysticism which combines the medieval tradition of the reception of the Song of Songs with hagiographic elements. A codicological and palaeographical analysis of the only manuscript shows it to be a sixteenth-century copy, but the type of mysticism and the theological questions that it discusses suggest that the text was initially composed in the thirteenth century, when Christina is thought to have lived. The theological and spiritual ideas in the text belong to the wider context of communicating the transcendental within the world. My thesis uses performative language analysis to address the problems of textuality and authorization in the Life of Christina of Hane. It yields new insights into the ways in which this mystical text makes use of hagiographic strategies, how gender and vernacular theology are linked, how liturgical elements support the text’s pragmatic nature, and how somatic spirituality is reflected on an allegorical level in the embodiment of God’s bride. An assessment of three communicative aspects – medial, narrative, and allegorical – highlights the textualization of the mystical experience. The appellative structure of Christina’s text invites the reader to engage with the text. This study provides the first comprehensive interpretation of the text on Christina of Hane. It compares it to other mystical texts, to a German–Latin prayerbook, and to a fragmentary legend about Mary Magdalene. It challenges existing judgments about Christina’s biography and offers alternative solutions founded in the latest scholarship on female mystical literature.
Supervisor: Suerbaum, Almut M. V. Sponsor: European Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Late antiquity and the Middle Ages ; Languages (Medieval and Modern) and non-English literature ; German ; Medieval philosophy ; Christianity and Christian spirituality ; Women ; mysticism ; Middle Ages ; female spirituality ; performativity ; manuscript culture ; bridal mysticism ; Virgin Mary ; Premonstratensian Order ; Christina of Hane ; Christina von Hane