A Saintly Woman is Not a Starving Woman: Parrhesia in “Birgitta’s Heart is a Pot of Delicious Food”

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Judith Lanzendorfer

Abstract

This article focuses on Chapter 54, “Birgitta’s Heart is a Pot of Delicious Food”, of Birgitta of Sweden’s Revelationes extravagantes. This vision is striking in its use of parrhesis, the idea of speaking “truth to power”, particularly because this vision is less edited by an amanuensis than any other section of Birgitta’s works. Also striking in this vision is the use of food, which is often presented in medieval women’s visionary texts as a temptation; in Chapter 54 food is framed in a positive way. It is only ash from a fire that the food is cooked over, framed as worldly temptation, that is problematic. As such, the emphasis in the vision is balance between an understanding of the secular world and how it can coexist with one’s spiritual nature.

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How to Cite
Lanzendorfer, J. (2020). A Saintly Woman is Not a Starving Woman: Parrhesia in “Birgitta’s Heart is a Pot of Delicious Food”. Humanities Bulletin, 3(1), 147-160. Retrieved from https://www.journals.lapub.co.uk/index.php/HB/article/view/1529
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