Print

Print


medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

> so is there a source on this beguine tale?  or is it urban legend?

Richard's query above raises what I am currently considering as a major
methodological difficulty with respect to medieval religion.  Why should not "urban
legend" count as a source, however difficult it might be to deal with in a historical
sense?  If the only "sources" we recognize are those that the hegemonic
establishment felt worthy of enshrining in written form, then are we not guilty of
perpetuating a regime of Foucauldian power at the expense of other segments of
medieval society, who just happen to form the vast majority of the population?  I
have been dealing with this issue in relation to local pilgrimage among rural
populations, but this mention of "urban legend" seems to raise the same difficulties.
Both oral history and ethno-history are beginning to offer methodological means of
dealing with such "sources", but to my knowledge, medievalists have been reticent
to take them on board.  I'd love, however, to be proved wrong.
Cheers,
Jim Bugslag

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site:
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html