CFP Jul 7, 2024

Session at ICMS (Kalamazoo, 8-10 May 25)

International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 8–10, 2025
Deadline: Sep 14, 2024

Julie Roussel

Purgatory to Paradise - Visualizing the Iter Salvationis in Medieval Art.

This special session wishes to analyze the representations of souls in Purgatory and their journey toward Paradise. The exempla employed in medieval texts and sermons featured vividly impactful imagery designed to engage the audience and leave a lasting impression. In medieval visual art, how are themes of sin, punishment, and, importantly, the possibility of salvation portrayed? Additionally, what is the significance of depicting souls in purgatory as naked? How this symbolism can be interpreted in conveying theological truths about redemption and renewal?

The session will encourage an interdisciplinary approach. Liturgy, sermons, drama, and visual arts were deeply interconnected with the expression of iter salvationis. For this reason, these elements will be examined in relation to pilgrimages and indulgences to understand the dramatization of the after-life. The scientific importance of the session lies in understanding how these devotional images served not only as reminders of mortality, akin to memento mori, but also as catalysts for the pursuit of indulgences. Moreover, the analysis of case studies will not only aim to highlight specific aspects and general phenomena in Late Medieval Europe, but also to define identities and devotees’ experiences in their life and after-life journey of purification.

Scholars are invited to submit a 300-word abstract, excluding references. Proposals should also include name, affiliation, email address, the title of the presentation, 6 keywords, a selective bibliography, and a short CV. Please send the documents to by September 14, 2024.

CFP: Session at ICMS (Kalamazoo, 8-10 May 25). In:, Jul 7, 2024 (accessed Jul 23, 2024), <>.