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"St. Elisabeth of Schönau and Actor-Network Theory: The Flow of the Power within one Text"

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Original title:"St. Elisabeth of Schönau and Actor-Network Theory: The Flow of the Power within one Text"
Author:Andrea Beláňová
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Original language:English
Field:Philosophy and religion
Type:Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
Keywords:Elisabeth of Schönau; actor-network theory; Brunou Latour; textual analysis

The paper is based on a textual analysis of the work of the medieval saint and mystic, Elisabeth of Schönau. This work could be described as a compilation of texts, including Elisabeth's visions transcribed by her brother Egbert, Egbert's and Elisabeth's reflections of the life in a monastery community, and the collection of letters. As the work is very interesting from various points of view it has been studied deeply, primarily from the gender perspective. Thus the ambition of my research was different. It calls for a new approach strongly inspired by the sociological program known as "Actor-Network Theory" (ANT). This methodological inspiration could be most seen in the polemics with already published research on the same theme. On the basis of precise inner analysis of the texts I argue that the definitions of some commonly used categories (here: power, gender boundaries) must be found in the material itself and not to be prepared by the researcher before the start of the analysis.