Amber L. Griffioen

Research Fellow

Griffioen Amber

Project: “(Un)becoming Selves: Exemplarist Narratives, Material Textuality, and Embodied Cognition in Late Medieval Women’s Religious Writing”

The role of narrative in self-understanding and -transformation has received renewed philosophical attention in recent years. Likewise, the significance of physical embodiment and orientation to human cognition has become a central topic of discussion in both the sciences and humanities. However, the intersections of narrativity, materiality, and embodied cognition have not been much explored in analytic philosophy of religion. Moreover, very little has been done on the theological implications of exemplarist narratives in medieval women’s religious writing and the role the body plays in these narratives. This project will attempt to fill these gaps in research by a) looking at the roles that the body played in the late medieval Dominican Sister-Books and other devotional literature from the Upper Rhine region, and b) exploring how these women’s material engagement with the books housing these narratives may have contributed to the very kinds of religious knowledge such texts aimed to cultivate.

Bio: In addition to her research on medieval Christian and Islamic mystagogical thought, Dr. Griffioen works on topics in philosophy of religion/analytic theology, medieval and early modern philosophy, practical and social philosophy, the ethics of belief, and philosophy of sport. Prior to her fellowship at the Center for Philosophy of Religion, she worked for ten years at the University of Konstanz in Germany, where she enjoys permanent residency. She has several forthcoming books and articles in the pipeline and is also currently working on topics surrounding the philosophy and theology of pregnancy and reproductive loss.