Wednesday, November 01, 2006

St. Vincent Ferrer and the Chopped-up Baby

The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program presents:

Professor Laura Smoller
University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Department of History

“St. Vincent Ferrer and the Chopped-up Baby: Creating the Image of a New
Saint in the Fifteenth Century”

4:00 pm, Friday, November 10th in CL 501

There will be a reception immediately following the lecture: please join us!

In 1453, a woman testifying about the miracles of Vincent Ferrer reported
that the potential saint's intercession had restored a baby who had been
cut to pieces by his meat-craving, pregnant mother. Even at that point,
the story had something of a life of its own. After Vincent's 1455
canonization, this miracle was frequently depicted in art and hagiography.
In this talk, Smoller explores how this single, bizarre miracle tale
became crucial to the emerging image of the new saint, addressing nagging
doubts about the holy preacher's career and loyalties.

Laura Smoller received her Ph.D. in History from Harvard University in
1991. At the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Dr. Smoller teaches
courses on the history of disease, the history of apocalyptic thought, and
the history of magic and science. She is the author of History, Prophecy,
and the Stars: The Christian Astrology of Pierre d’Ailly (Princeton
University Press, 1994) as well as numerous articles on late medieval
astrology, eschatology, and miracles. Her work has been supported by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim

This talk has been generously co-sponsored by the Department of History,
the Department of French and Italian, and the Department of Religious

For more information, please contact Acting Director Jennifer Waldron at

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