• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Visions, voices and other hallucinatory experiences in the Middle Ages

cpuusage

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
37,638
Location
Planet Lunatic Asylum
Visions, voices and other hallucinatory experiences in the Middle Ages (CfP, International Medieval Congress, July 2014) | Centre for Medical Humanities Blog

The twentieth International Medieval Congress will take place in Leeds, from 7-10 July 2014. Proposals are sought for a panel entitled “Visions, voices and other hallucinatory experiences in the Middle Ages.”

This session, sponsored by the Wellcome-funded Hearing the Voice project and the Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University, seeks to explore how hallucinatory experiences were described, regarded and explained in medieval culture and society. Reports of phenomena redolent of hallucinatory experiences recurrently appear in both religious and secular literature of the period. Unlike contemporary clinical culture which regards such phenomena as pathological symptoms of psychosis, the experience of seeing visions or hearing voices was, to a large extent, socially and culturally integrated, particularly within religious contexts. While not explicitly connected to madness or insanity, visions, voices and anomalous perceptual events lay along a similar fault line, an experience which set recipients apart from the rest of society. In this session we are seeking to start a conversation about how hallucinatory experiences were apprehended by both recipient and wider society. Prospective contributions might address (among other possibilities) the following:

The ineffability of hallucinatory experiences and the nature of the metaphors or imagery used in their description
The social context in which these descriptions appear
Contemporary cognitive explanations for hallucinatory experience which address the phenomenon in the context of the faculties of perception, memory and imagination
The relationship between hallucinatory experiences and dreams
Premonitions
Hallucinatory experiences in the sane and insane, or how these phenomena relate to mental disorder
Multimodal aspects of the experience, extending the discussion beyond visions to consider auditory, olfactory, gustatory and tactile sensations
The vouchsafing of the reality (or lack thereof) of the representation
Hallucinatory experiences as a source of inspiration for creative or intellectual endeavour

Depending on the response we receive we will look into the possibility of arranging a double session. Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Hilary Powell by September 6 2013.
 
Kerome

Kerome

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
12,750
Location
Europe
Frankly that's depressing to even think about, I don't think I will go ;) I reckon voices and such would be seen as, say, angelic visitations, demonic possession, fairies, magic, curses, an imbalance of the humors of the body, ghosts, vision sent from above, divine revelation, nature spirits messing with you, etcetera... All the things we also come up with during psychosis to explain something particularly colourful and amazing.

If there is anything that we have to be grateful for in this day and age, it's that a lot of the truly nonsensical beliefs have been thrown out and no longer have to be given credence. Seen through the lens of local superstitions, belief in magic and alchemy, and the more baroque forms of religion, psychosis could be a lot more scary.

You could say that science and the Enlightenment of the 17th century and onwards have been conducting a cleansing campaign on the worlds memes, pruning away a lot of the old junk and making room for new concepts cross-pollinated on a global scale. It's an interesting time to be alive.
 
E

ELite

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
10
Frankly that's depressing to even think about, I don't think I will go ;) I reckon voices and such would be seen as, say, angelic visitations, demonic possession, fairies, magic, curses, an imbalance of the humors of the body, ghosts, vision sent from above, divine revelation, nature spirits messing with you, etcetera... All the things we also come up with during psychosis to explain something particularly colourful and amazing.

If there is anything that we have to be grateful for in this day and age, it's that a lot of the truly nonsensical beliefs have been thrown out and no longer have to be given credence. Seen through the lens of local superstitions, belief in magic and alchemy, and the more baroque forms of religion, psychosis could be a lot more scary.

You could say that science and the Enlightenment of the 17th century and onwards have been conducting a cleansing campaign on the worlds memes, pruning away a lot of the old junk and making room for new concepts cross-pollinated on a global scale. It's an interesting time to be alive.
Modern psychiatry and views of mental health are just as brutal if not more so than any beliefs from the past. I mean, psychiatric hospitals were terrible, they're better today, but they're still really bad. I was convinced in the hospital that I was just misbehaving.

I generally find the medical model dissatisfying and meaningless and it doesn't really explain anything to me. Nonwestern cultures are just as successful if not more so treating their own without using the medical paradigm.
 
Top