This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Tuesday 18 October 2022, 5.30pm to 7pm
  • Location: In-person and online
    Room K/133, King's Manor, Exhibition Square (Map)
  • Audience: Open to alumni, staff, students, the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

York Medieval Lecture 

This joint lecture shall investigate what the speakers are calling 'phantomology',  ranging from medieval theology to modern neuroscience. Alastair Minnis will explain how St Augustine and some successors argued for the existence of a body-in-the-soul, as revealed in out-of-body experiences (OBEs). Some thinkers believed that this explained how, after death, people could continue to experience pain (in hell and purgatory) or pleasure (in heaven). Peter Brugger shall proceed to delineate stages of modern 'soul research', defining phantomology as the science of the body-in-the-brain, i.e. of a representation of corporeality as manifesting in phantom limbs, phantom doubles, and 'phantom vision' in OBEs. Neuroimaging studies will also be considered, but clinical observations will be emphasized. In this way, Medieval Studies shall be put in creative conversation with contemporary neuroscience and clinical practice.

Please register on Eventbrite to attend in-person

Please register on Zoom to attend online.


Attendees are welcome to read three articles provided by the speakers ahead of the lecture:
Brugger 2006 Phantom limb&body (PDF , 2,978kb)
Brugger et al 2000 beyond re-membering (PDF , 329kb)
Minnis, phantom_pains_and_prosthetic_narratives (PDF , 2,469kb)


Sponsored by the Centre for Medieval Studies (York), Fordham Center for Medieval StudiesHenry Pirenne Institute of Medieval Studies (Ghent), Centre for Medieval Literature (York and Odense) and Universidade Santiago de Compostela

About the speakers

Alastair Minnis is the Douglas Tracy Smith Professor Emeritus of English at Yale University, holds honorary professorships from the universities of York and St Andrews, and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy

Peter Brugger, PhD, is professor emeritus of behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry at Zurich University. He is head of the Neuropsychology Unit of one of the leading Swiss Rehabilitation Centers, the Clinic Valens

Venue details

  • Not wheelchair accessible