Thursday Lecture Series: Evidence

Miracle as Evidence in the Later Middle Ages

Thursday, The Heyman Center

Historians have recently been interested in medieval understandings
of miracles and the efforts of a number of late medieval
thinkers to explain or partly naturalize them, making the question
of the evidence for miracles the subject of lively discussion.
But less attention has been paid to the way in which miracles
were themselves used as evidence, not just for sanctity but also
for ritual impurity, acts of desecration, superstition, and heresy.
Caroline Bynum looked at some of the ways in which miracles
were used as evidence, exploring how they were described and
framed in both sympathetic and hostile accounts in the fourteenth
and fifteenth centuries.