Until We See His Blessed Face: Sight as Privileged Insight in the Spirituality of Margery Kempe
his paper explores how, despite an inherited Christian tradition that worked to elevate hearing and denigrate sight in an unofficial hierarchy of the senses, the fifteenth-century English mystic Margery Kempe came to privilege sight as a vehicle through which to achieve intimacy with Jesus. The paper suggests that for Kempe, sight gave way to vision, and this experience was achieved through a pattern of ritualized weeping. While some of her critical contemporaries viewed Kempe as an anomaly, this spiritual pattern locates her in a long and wide tradition of religious men and women who receive, both literally and metaphorically, new vision and insight following experiences of weeping.
Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, Volume 3, Number 1, pp. 119-136