Abstract

Exploring images of textual encounters in books 1 and 2 of Gertrude of Helfta's Legatus, this article argues that Gertrude articulates a reading practice that attends to the bodies that produce and receive written texts. Using images that conjoin inscription and embodiment, Gertrude encourages readers to imagine a physical encounter with the divine through the medium of the text. Gertrude herself models the inseparability of cognitive and embodied activity in reading and textual activity, and her work foregrounds textual engagement as a means of achieving divine union.

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