Demon Possessed or Spirit-Filled? Religious Dissent and Feminine Religiosity in the Twelfth Century Rhineland


  • Andra Alexiu University of Münster


Parole chiave:

esorcismo, possessione demoniaca, uita apostolica, spiritualità femminile, Ildegarda di Bingen


Around 1169, after several failed attempts to exorcise a young noble woman from the Lower Rhine region, called Sigewize, she is brought to Rupertsberg where the ritual is successfully conducted not only according to the indications of the famous visionary nun and magistra, Hildegard of Bingen, but in her very presence. While valuable first and foremost to the research on exorcism, the narratives occasioned by this outstanding event also lend themselves useful for the study of the continuous negotiation of meanings and social implications of uita apostolica, and thus towards a better grasp of the blurred boundaries of religious dissent. The sources recounting Sigewize’s exorcism stand at the crossroads of discourses on demonic possession, charismatic inspiration, and heresy. By focusing on this intersection, the present study aims to make use of ‘blurred boundaries’ both as a metaphor as well as a necessary tool for bringing together related and yet disjointed areas or research.

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Come citare

Alexiu, A. (2024). Demon Possessed or Spirit-Filled? Religious Dissent and Feminine Religiosity in the Twelfth Century Rhineland. I Quaderni Del m.æ.S. - Journal of Mediæ Ætatis Sodalicium, 22(1s), 141–163.