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A Creation of Personal Piety: The Performance Art of Medieval Pilgrimage at Montserrat

HOLLISTER, LAURA,NICHOLE (2020) A Creation of Personal Piety: The Performance Art of Medieval Pilgrimage at Montserrat. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis begins with a reconceptualization of medieval pilgrimage as a performance art. The consideration of pilgrimage as an act of creation where the individual pilgrim (lay or ecclesiastical) serves as the artist and audience of the performance introduces an alternative way of looking at the space, interactions, and activities involved during the course of pilgrimage. The performances and pilgrimages are unique events and personal acts of piety that engage the actor and landscape in distinct ways, but also derives shape from the textual and cultural contexts tied to the specific site and time period where each performance occurs.
Chapter One provides the theoretical background necessary to begin identifying pilgrimage as performance art through an analysis of David Davies’ performance theory. Chapter Two introduces and explores the sixteenth- and eighteenth-century literary sources that are the bases for the discussion of the foundation myths associated with Montserrat and the creation of the cult of the Virgin of Montserrat. Chapter Three explores Montserrat’s natural and architectural geography, the role of the physical presence of the pilgrimage site as a tie to the ascetic and eremitic heritage of Montserrat, and the setting’s link to the foundation myths. Chapter Four analyzes the mountain landscape utilizing arguments of liturgical drama to determine the degree to which a single narrative path exists during the enactment of pilgrimage and can be determined from Montserrat’s miracle texts. Chapter Five looks further in depth at the miracles to determine if a realistic rather than symbolic landscape should be considered when analyzing pilgrimage and how the landscape affects the pilgrim’s individual performance and identity.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Jun 2020 11:32

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