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Grant number like: FT-56354-08

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FT-56354-08Research Programs: Summer StipendsAnna Harrison"Thousands and Thousands of Lovers": Community and the Holy Dead at the Thirteenth-Century Monastery of Helfta6/1/2008 - 8/31/2008$6,000.00Anna Harrison   Loyola Marymount UniversityLos AngelesCA90045-2650USA2008Medieval StudiesSummer StipendsResearch Programs6000060000

My research focuses on the sense of community between the living and the dead in heaven as this is articulated by the thirteenth-century Cistercian nuns of Helfta, in Saxony. My research depends on the literature produced at Helfta, which constitutes the largest single body of writings authored by women in the thirteenth century, and much of which was collaboratively composed by the nuns with little discernible male involvement. Modern attitudes toward and beliefs about the dead continue to be of utmost importance in our experience of the world; they are influenced by a long history of complex notions toward the dead and about their relationship (or lack of relationship) to the living. Threaded throughout the Helfta writings is the insistence that the dead are of utmost significance to the living. My project will consider what the nuns expressed about a subject of singular importance to them, one, moreover, that still stirs our imagination.