I am a Research Associate working on the Leverhulme-funded project the Figure of the Witch with Professor Ronald Hutton at the University of Bristol.
My research examines the interactions between witchcraft, harmful magic and medicine in Medieval England. I focus on the attitudes of medical practitioners to hostile magic, the impact of developments in Christian theology on these ideas and the role played by physicians and other practitioners of medicine in the prosecution of hostile magic and witchcraft.
My published research also focuses on the interactions between medical, legal and theological ideas about the natural and supernatural worlds of the Middle Ages.
I approached this topic by examining manuscripts containing collections of saints’ miracles and records of canonization processes. I examined how developments in legal processes and theology, along with the introduction of Arabic and Ancient Greek medical and scientific knowledge into the western world from the twelfth century onwards, transformed Christian ideas about the natural and supernatural worlds, including the concept of a miracle. Scrutiny of these specific texts provides a dissection of the thought of clerics familiar with new theological, medical and 'scientific' learning, yet who were by no means at its speculative cutting edge, offering evidence for the dissemination of the ideas of elite scholars far beyond the cloisters and corridors of monastic schools and universities.