IASH Fellows Speaker Series: “Penance as Medicine: Intersecting Genres in Early Medieval Thought”

Meg Leja, assistant professor of history, will speak on “Penance as Medicine: Intersecting Genres in Early Medieval Thought“at noon Wednesday, March 29, in LN-1106, the IASH Conference Room.

This paper interrogates parallels between the treatment of physical and moral pollution during a formative period of medieval thought. Early medieval authors frequently employed metaphors comparing pastoral and medical care. Through a close analysis of penitential and medical literature from the ninth-century Carolingian Empire, Leja examines how these comparisons shaped the diagnosis and treatment of physical and spiritual maladies. In particular, she considers the concept of “necessity” and its use in evolving beliefs about moral behavior and sin.