This project will provide insight into the nature and development of the visionary experience of ordinary lay people in the later Middle Ages and Early Modern period, a phenomenon yet to be explored. To achieve this objective, reported visions in vernacular miracle books originated in cult centres in the Low Countries from 1300 to 1700 books will be assembled. The combination of textual, contextual and comparative analysis of this corpus, will (1) shed light on the characteristics of the experience of the visionary protagonists and of cult centre register practices, (2) map chronological shifts and regional fluctuations in the nature of reported lay visions and the intensity of their occurrence. Subsequently, (3) the findings will be interpreted by correlating them with specific cult-related developments, as well as with developments in the official Church norms and regulation of lay visions. The analysis will be informed by concepts from various fields such as historical
anthropology, religious philosophy and historical psychology. The project will lead to a differentiated view of the nature and role of lay visions in late medieval and early modern devotion and pilgrimage culture and will significantly contribute to our understanding of the dynamics of lay piety and popular religion.