nám. Jana Palacha 1/2
Lecturer: Jan Hon (Berkeley).
Henry Suso’s Vita narrates the life of a „Servant of Eternal Wisdom“ as a path from the state of sin to the state of „Gelassenheit“ (composure/serenity/“let-it-be-ness“) and unity with God. What makes this text unique even in the context of late medieval mysticism is its autobiographical impetus. Though narrated in the third person, the text uses a number of strategies to link the narrative to the historical figure of Henry Suso. That, in turn, makes the hagiographical tone of the account a notably risky endeavor: how can one authorize his own life, filled with self-induced suffering, as an imitatio Christi and, at the same time, present it as an example to be followed by others? The talk will discuss this tension between hagio-graphy and auto-bio-graphy along with the medial strategies in both the manuscript and the print transmissions employed to provide the audience with spiritual participation in the servant’s (self-)torturous way to God.
The lecture is a part of the series Me and the World … Autobiography in Medieval and Early Modern Europe.