Visions in Late Medieval England
Gwenfair Walters Adams
Visions were highly popular in the late Middle Ages, whether preached as vivid stories from the pulpit, illuminated in saint-filled manuscripts, or experienced during the breathless anticipation of a Mass or eerie darkness of a Yorkshire graveyard. This volume is the first to map out the wide range of vision types in late medieval English lay piety. Analyzing 1000 visionary accounts gathered from sermon and exempla collections, religious devotional works, saints’ legends, and lay stories, it explores five central dynamics of spirituality that visions shaped and sustained: Transactions of Satisfaction (visits to and from purgatory and hell), Reciprocated Devotion (visitations of the saints), Spiritual Warfare (attacks by demons), Supra-Sacramental Sight (Mass and Passion sightings), and Mediated Revelation (prophetic visions).