Virtual Pilgrimages in the Convent: Imagining Jerusalem in the Late Middle Ages

Research output: Book/ReportBook


‘Walking in Christ’s footsteps’ was a devotional ideal in the late Middle Ages. However, few nuns and religious women had the freedom or the funding to take the journey in the flesh. Instead they invented and adjusted devotional exercises to visit the sites virtually. These exercises, largely based on real pilgrims’ accounts, made use of images and objects that helped the beholder to imagine walking alongside Christ during his torturous march to Calvary. Some provided scripts whereby votaries could animate paintings and sculptures. Others required the nun to imagine her convent as a miniature model of Jerusalem. This volume is grounded in more than a dozen texts from manuscripts written by medieval nuns and religious women, which appear here transcribed and translated for the first time, and a multiplicity of (occasionally three-dimensional) images. They attest to the ubiquity and variety of virtual pilgrimages among religious women and help to reveal the functions of certain late Medieval devotional images.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTurnhout
PublisherBrepols Publishers
Number of pages475
ISBN (Print)978-2-503-54103-7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2011

Publication series

NameDisciplina Monastica


  • Virtual Pilgrimage
  • Medieval manuscripts
  • Medieval painting


Dive into the research topics of 'Virtual Pilgrimages in the Convent: Imagining Jerusalem in the Late Middle Ages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this