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MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

Female Prophecy in Early Modern European Religion

Tildelt: kr 2,8 mill.






2023 - 2026


Female Prophecy in Early Modern European Religion

This project is the first attempt to create a theoretical account of female prophecy in sixteenth century Italy, Spain and England as a key to understanding crucial political concepts such as authority, discipline, spirituality, agency and expectation. It identifies sixteenth-century Italian ‘living saints’ and humanists; Spanish beatas and conversas; and English visionaries as privileged actors of prophetic charisma and challenges assumptions that prophecy responds just to national or local interests and debates. A transnational approach is needed to demonstrate the close parallels and exchanges in Italy, England and Spain in this era of extensive religious mobility. Without neglecting the differences, this project explores the circulation of female prophecy in Italy, England and Spain before the Universal Church was completely divided. The analysis will concentrate on a corpus of women prophets, i.e. the texts written by women prophets and their male counterparts (confessors, hagiographers and devotees), as well as by secular women (such as humanists) in order to identify interconnections and models of female prophecy in early modern religion. This corpus includes sermons, visions, spiritual letters and poems, hagiographies and inquisitorial trials. The project’s supervision by Unn Falkeid, historian of ideas at the University of Oslo, and by Nicholas Terpstra, social-cultural historian at the University of Toronto, as well as the excellent research environment of the host institutions, will ensure the project’s success. The University of Oslo hosts a growing research team on Renaissance and early modern women and religion, and so is the most fitting environment to carry out my project during the return phase. The University of Toronto (outgoing phase) is the perfect place in which to acquire new methodologies and archival sources, thanks to Terpstra’s expertise, to its digital humanities structures and its centers for the study of the Renaissance and Reformation.


MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)