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The Physiology of Vice in the Middle Ages

Research project

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.

Head of project

Virginia Langum
Associate professor

Project overview

Project period:

2011-10-01 2013-09-30


Finansår , 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

huvudman: Virginia Langum, finansiar: Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, y2003: , y2004: , y2005: , y2006: , y2007: , y2008: , y2009: , y2010: , y2011: , y2012: , y2013: , y2014: , y2015: , y2016: , y2017: , y2018: , y2019: , y2020: ,

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Language Studies

Research subject

History of ideas, Modern languages, Public health and health care science, Religious studies and theology