Parental Grief and Prayer in the Middle Ages : Religious Coping in Swedish Miracle Stories

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Parental Grief and Prayer in the Middle Ages : Religious Coping in Swedish Miracle Stories

AU - Aldrin, Viktor

N1 - http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1577-6234

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - This article focuses on expressions of bereavement and religious coping in medieval miracle stories from Sweden. The stories come from the collections of St. Birgitta (Bridget) of Sweden, the Blessed Bishop Nicolaus Hermanni (Sw. Nils Hermansson) of Linköping and the Blessed Katarina of Vadstena, and were recorded in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Catherine M. Sanders’s modern five stages of bereavement have been used as the theory of analysis through Kay Talbot’s adaptation of the theory for parents in grief. This theoretical foundation has provided new insights into how parental grief was expressed in medieval Sweden – and in stark contrast to Continental research on the same topic. Parents of both sexes expressed their grief outwardly through tears and crying, and a reluctance to accept that their children were dead. Throughout the miracle stories, lay people constructed their own prayers for miraculous intervention without the aid of any priests. This makes fathers and mothers in medieval Sweden agents of their own in terms of praying to God and being able to construct their own forms of religious coping.

AB - This article focuses on expressions of bereavement and religious coping in medieval miracle stories from Sweden. The stories come from the collections of St. Birgitta (Bridget) of Sweden, the Blessed Bishop Nicolaus Hermanni (Sw. Nils Hermansson) of Linköping and the Blessed Katarina of Vadstena, and were recorded in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Catherine M. Sanders’s modern five stages of bereavement have been used as the theory of analysis through Kay Talbot’s adaptation of the theory for parents in grief. This theoretical foundation has provided new insights into how parental grief was expressed in medieval Sweden – and in stark contrast to Continental research on the same topic. Parents of both sexes expressed their grief outwardly through tears and crying, and a reluctance to accept that their children were dead. Throughout the miracle stories, lay people constructed their own prayers for miraculous intervention without the aid of any priests. This makes fathers and mothers in medieval Sweden agents of their own in terms of praying to God and being able to construct their own forms of religious coping.

KW - practical theology

KW - pastoral theology

KW - religious coping

KW - grief

KW - middle ages

KW - scandinavia

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 82

EP - 105

JO - Collegium: Studies Across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences

JF - Collegium: Studies Across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences

SN - 1796-2986

ER -