By Karen Sullivan

The transcripts of Joan of Arc's trial for heresy at Rouen in 1431 and the mins of her interrogation have lengthy been well-known as our greatest resource of knowledge concerning the Maid of Orleans. Historians mostly view those criminal texts as an actual account of Joan's phrases and, through extension, her ideals. targeting the mins recorded through clerics, even though, Karen Sullivan demanding situations the accuracy of the transcript. within the Interrogation of Joan of Arc, she re-reads the list no longer as an ideal mirrored image of a ancient personality's phrases, yet as a literary textual content as a result of the collaboration among Joan and her interrogators.

Sullivan offers an illuminating and leading edge account of Joan's trial and interrogation, putting them in old, social, and spiritual context. within the 15th century, interrogation was once a mode of truth-gathering pointed out now not with humans like Joan, who was once uneducated, yet with clerics, like those that attempted her. whilst those clerics puzzled Joan, they did in order scholastics expert on the collage of Paris, as judges and assistants to judges, and as pastors knowledgeable in listening to confessions.

The Interrogation of Joan of Arc lines Joan's conflicts along with her interrogators to not differing political allegiances, yet to basic ameliorations among clerical and lay cultures. Sullivan demonstrates that the determine depicted within the transcripts as Joan of Arc is a posh, multifaceted character that effects mostly from those cultural transformations. Discerning and leading edge, this research indicates a strong new interpretive version and redefines our feel of Joan and her time.

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Extra resources for The Interrogation of Joan of Arc

Sample text

With this last phrase, they rejected the possibility of supernatural beings who do not fit into the ordered structure of the universe suggested by scholastic Christianity. By equating faees with maligni spiritus, they equated a marvelous entity, foreign to a Christian worldview, with a diabolic entity that is encompassed within this worldview. The clerics went on to recount that Joan was accustomed to frequent the said tree and spring, most often at night, sometimes during the day, above all at the times when the divine office was being celebrated at the church, in order to be alone, and she turned around this spring and the tree in dance.

The shift identified with Joan's adolescence, if one can use that term, involved not a movement from error to truthfulness or from heterodoxy to orthodoxy but a movement from childish games to mature endeavors. It involved not a rejection of her childhood community but a progression beyond it. Given the nature of this shift, the manner in which Joan withdrew from the festivities around the fairy ladies' tree was not dramatic. When she stated that "she took little part in the games and walks and the least she could," she suggested that though she would have liked to retire entirely from these games and walks, she was able only to diminish her participation and to take "little part" in them.

Far from merely eliciting a representation of Joan's visionary perceptions, the clerics relied upon their learned presuppositions about what such experience must be to help construct what they were willing to recognize as the truth of her perceptions. " If we put together these various allusions to the deity, approximately four out of five medieval depictions of Joan's celestial contact outside the transcripts of her trial state, in some combination of words, that she was sent by God to help France and thus stress not so much her inner experience of the deity as the outer effects of this experience upon the kingdom.

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