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Claire Sahlin
Texas Woman's University (Denton, TX 76204-5589)
Female Prophecy, Birgitta of Sweden, and Late-Medieval Discourses on the Discernment of Spirits

The NEH Summer Stipend will be used to complete the second chapter of a book, which will examine controversies about women prophesying in the later Middle Ages through an analysis of treatises about Birgitta of Sweden, a visionary writer who claimed the authority of divine inspiration. This chapter will interpret propositions for Birgitta’s canonization within the context of late-medieval preoccupation with spiritual discernment, i.e. the art of distinguishing authentic revelation from diabolical delusion. By offering insight into assumptions about the discernment of spirits and women’s religious authority, this project will contribute to scholarship on medieval holy women as well as to the fields of religious studies and gender studies.

Project fields:
Medieval Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2003 – 7/31/2003