Journal Article

The Last Fetter: A Girardian Reading of Aelred of Rievaulx's <i>De Quadam Miraculum Mirabili</i>

Isaac Slater

in Literature and Theology

Volume 26, issue 1, pages 23-37
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frr037
The Last Fetter: A Girardian Reading of Aelred of Rievaulx's De Quadam Miraculum Mirabili

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Aelred of Rievaulx's De quadam miraculum mirabili relates the story of a Gilbertine nun raped by a brother in her community. She becomes pregnant and is brutally persecuted by her sisters. The text provides Aelred's interpretation of events as conveyed to him by certain elders in the community. This article finds features of what René Girard identified as ‘persecution texts’ in the elder's account. Despite a certain ambivalence toward the victim, Aelred's theological aim in the interpretation he gives to events is to replace envy with gratitude. The text reveals a partial breakdown in the mechanism of sacred violence under pressure from gospel values.

Journal Article.  6726 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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