Padua, 28 February 2023
Micol Long’s article on Reorienting Desires, Emotions and Perceptions has been published!
This article is published as part of a special issue of the journal “Groniek” dedicated to “The Cognitive Turn”. Its purpose is to reflect on the psychological, cognitive, and emotional implications of medieval monastic formation, that is the learning process which transformed newcomers in a monastic communities into full members. In order to do so, it will make use of modern psychological notions, such as that of “identity restructuring”, to understand what the process of conversion to monastic life was supposed to entail. After reflecting on the transformative character attributed to monastic formation in the Middle Ages (and beyond)
as part of a broader religious conversion and education, the article will consider the emotional and affective dimensions of this process on the one hand, and the intellectual and didactical dimension on the other. The examples cited show that monastic conversion required individuals to learn not only to do or not to do specific things, but also to desire things considered appropriate, and not to wish for things considered unappropriated. They also attest the belief that the way in which one understood and processed the world radically changed upon successful conversion to monastic life, down to sensory perception.