Eduardo Correia (King's College London)
Fellow in Research Area 3: "Future Perfect"
April – August 2022
'It is a mete which is lovesom and plesing to the lorde': Palimpsestic Temporalities in Julian of Norwich's Revelations of Divine Love
This project focusses on Revelations of Divine Love, a late fourteenth-century account of visionary experiences by Julian of Norwich. One of the postulates is that the Eucharistic overtones of the Gospel of John (6:1–58) are relevant to Julian's text and to its immersion in multiple temporalities: the story of the multiplication of the loaves, followed by a discourse on the 'bread of life', then culminates in a powerful presentation of the Eucharist which emphasises the body of Jesus himself as being food and drink. At the same time, the Fourth Gospel is the only one that makes a direct link between the body and the verbal. Building on perdurantism, the metaphysical theory proposing that objects have temporal parts, Eduardo Correia investigates the ways in which the concept of an omnitemporal body informs Julian's theology. If it is true that 'pain begets perception' (McCann 2018), it can also be said that body begets time.
The audience is open to the phenomenon that inhabits in their bodies. This is why Julian's 'ideal reader' must display 'a kenotic sense of being in a state of "wilful abiding", open to "beholding"' (Gillespie 2008). One of the key hypotheses of the project is that the emphasis by theologians and visionaries of the late Middle Ages on the Eucharist as suffering and bleeding flesh, and more specifically the 'materialistic reading of the symbol of Christ's body' (Beckwith 1993) in late medieval England might, even more specifically, have found expression in what Correia proposes is a deep Johannine affinity embedded in the Revelations. The analysis will be done in dialogue with the phenomenological insight that language is instituted in bodily presence but opens up a world of absence – again, of what is beyond the temporal (bodily) present, of what is 'not yet performed' (Revelations 86.1–2).
Eduardo Correia studied English and German Literature at the University of Porto and at the Freie Universität Berlin. He completed his Research Master's degree at Leiden University (Literary Studies, with History of Art) with a thesis on ekphrasis and living presence response in late medieval English literature. He received his PhD from the University of London (King's College London, English Literature; UCL, History of Art) with a dissertation on materiality, non-linear time, and embodied perception in the face of death in medieval English literature, mostly using a phenomenological approach. This will result in his first monograph. He is interested in medieval English literature, William Shakespeare, medieval film, philosophy of time, philosophy of mind, embodiment, and intersections between literature and theology. A future project explores vernacular translation and adaptation of the Psalms in late medieval England.