Weeping Statues and Bleeding Bread: Miracles in the Later Middle Ages
Lecture by Caroline Walker Bynum, Professor of European Medieval History, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey
Given at the University of Stanford, February 23, 2009
In the period between 1150 and 1550 a number of Christians in western Europe made pilgrimages to places where material objects–among them paintings, statues, relics, and Eucharistic wafers–allegedly erupted into life by such activities as bleeding, weeping, and walking about. In this lecture, Professor Bynum describes the miracles, discusses the problems they presented for both church authorities and the ordinary faithful, and probes the basic assumptions about matter that lay behind them.