Prophecy in Practice: The Everyday Life of Divine Knowledge in the Twelfth Century


ACLS Fellowship Program




“Prophecy in Practice” sits at the disciplinary intersection of anthropology and history, and takes as its focus the personal everyday aspects of prophetic cognition in the lives of late medieval monks and nuns. By investigating links between large scale—biblical and exegetical—concepts of prophecy and smaller scale daily practices, such as prayer, reading, and the interpretation and sharing of dreams, as they facilitate or engender individual experiences of prophecy, this project explores the conjunction of institutional and personal knowledge embodied in medieval religious persons. This study breaks new ground in showing how common practices and concepts shared among members of twelfth-century religious communities facilitated individual experience and the expression of prophetic gifts.