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The Physiology of Vice in the Middle Ages

The project studies material and naturalistic explanations for human behaviour through the widely applied model of the seven deadly sins: pride, envy, anger, avarice, sloth, lechery and gluttony. In so doing, it considers how priests used medicine, both as a metaphor and a material practice, in diagnosing and treating people who came to confession. Two important movements occurs in this period: the codification of confession and the emergence of medicine as an academic study. Both events resulted in the circulation and translation of these texts. The project studies how these two fields of knowledge interacted in the period, 1215-1500.

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Title of Project

The Physiology of Vice in the Later Middle Ages

Project Period

10/01/2011 - 09/30/2013

Subject areas

History of religion, Church studies, History of science and ideas, History of medicine, Literature, English language, Health and medical services in society

Head of research

Virginia Langum, Department of language studies

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