“Knock, Knock, Who’s There? Joe Coleman and His Angry Apparition”
Professor Lisa Bitel (Professor of History and Religion, University of Southern California), medieval historian and gender studies scholar, will be speaking about the modern discernment of visions in an Irish context. Prof. Bitel will be discussing Joe Coleman, the would-be Christian visionary who summoned the world to meet the Virgin at Knock, Ireland.
The talk is related to her forthcoming book, Lady of the Rock: Vision and Religion in the Modern American Desert, about a modern Marian visionary in the Mojave Desert. Professor Bitel began her study of contemporary visionaries as an exercise in ethno-historical method: “I first went out to watch this Californian Marian visionary in order to understand the behavior of medieval witnesses to medieval vision events,” and this fieldwork will inform her research as she returns to early medieval visionaries and visions in her next project. Bitel’s monographs include Landscape with Two Saints : How Genovefa of Paris and Brigit of Kildare Built Christianity in Barbarian Europe ; Land of Women : Tales of Sex and Gender from Early Ireland ; and Isle of the Saints: Monastic Settlement and Christian Community in Early Ireland.