Borsje (Jacqueline)

  • s. xx–xxi
  • (agents)
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Random thoughts about restless women”, in: Elena A. Parina, Victor V. Bayda, and Andrej V. Sideltsev (eds), Слово, знание и учение / Focal, fios agus foghlaim: Сборник статей в честь юбилея Татьяны Андреевны Михайловой [Festschrift in honour of Tatyana A. Mikhailova], Moscow: Maks Press, 2020. 31–35.  

This contribution concerns gruesome tales of cruelty and the intersection of fact and fiction. The case study is the image of some dangerous mythological women: Lilith, Lamia, Alecto, and the Morrígain. Late-antique and early-medieval authors have clustered (some of) them by identifying them with each other. This contribution tries to explain the etymological association of Furies in general or Alecto in particular as being ‘unstoppable/incessant’ within a narrative context. While the characteristic of ‘unstoppable’ appeared to make sense for Lilith/Lamia/Alecto, the Morrígain suddenly seemed to fall outside the equation. She is not a strangler of babies and we have no textual witnesses of her lacerating a male partner after sex. In order to understand Eriugena’s equation of the Morrígain with Lilith/Lamia, we need to read the whole chapter of the Book of Isaiah to which he added his glosses. This contribution ends with the intersection of human and superhuman when discussing the fifth/sixth-century rule to exclude from the Christian community those who accused their fellow human beings of being such a destructive supernatural female.

Borsje, Jacqueline, “European and American scholarship and the study of medieval Irish ‘magic’ (1846–1960)”, in: Ilona Tuomi, John Carey, Barbara Hillers, and Ciarán Ó Gealbhain (eds), Charms, charmers and charming in Ireland: from the medieval to the modern, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2019. 5–15.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “The power of words: sacred and forbidden love magic in medieval Ireland”, in: Angela Berlis, Anna-Marie J. A. C. M. Korte, and Kune Biezeveld (eds), Everyday life and the sacred: Re/configuring gender studies in religion, 23, Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2017. 218–248.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “The secret of the Celts revisited”, Religion & Theology 24 (2017): 130–155.  
What makes the Celts so popular today? Anton van Hamel and Joep Leerssen published on the popularity of imagery connected with pre-Christian Celts, Van Hamel seeing the holistic worldview and Leerssen mysteriousness as appealing characteristics. They explain waves of ‘Celtic revival’ that washed over Europe as reaction and romanticising movements that search for alternatives from contemporaneous dominant culture. Each period has produced its modernized versions of the Celtic past. Besides periodical heightened interest in things Celtic, Van Hamel saw a permanent basis of attraction in Celtic texts, which accommodate ‘primitive’ and romantic mentalities. This article also analyses Celtic Christianity (through The Celtic Way by Ian Bradley and The Celtic Way of Prayer by Esther de Waal) on the use of Celtic texts and imagery of Celtic culture. Two case studies are done (on the use of the Old-Irish Deer’s Cry and the description of a nineteenth-century Scottish ritual). Both the current search for ‘spirituality’ and the last wave of ‘Celtic revival’ seem to have sprung from a reaction movement that criticizes dominant religion/culture and seek inspiration and precursors in an idealized past. The roots of this romantic search for a lost paradise are, however, also present in medieval Irish literature itself. Elements such as aesthetics, imaginative worlds and the posited lost beauty of pre-industrial nature and traditional society are keys in explaining the bridges among the gap between ‘us’ and the Celts. The realization that Celtic languages are endangered or dead heightens the feeling of loss because they are the primary gates towards this lost way of (thinking about) life.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Medieval Irish spells: ‘words of power’ as performance”, in: Ernst van den Hemel, and Asja Szafraniec (eds), Words: religious language matters, New York: Fordham University Press, 2016. 35–53.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Celtic spells and counterspells”, in: Katja Ritari, and Alexandra Bergholm (eds), Understanding Celtic religion: revisiting the pagan past, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2015. 9–50.  
The encounter between the old and new religious functionaries in conversion tales of Ireland often takes the form of confrontations between druids and saints. The religion of the saints is clearly Christianity; the religion of the druids remains vague, but is usually referred to as ‘magic’. Modern scholarship sees itself challenged by a double task. Not only do we know thanks to the nativist-revisionist debate that we cannot take descriptions of pre-Christian Irish religion at face value but we are also aware of the idea of a dichotomy between magic and religion that has dominated scholarship for centuries, but which has its roots in ideology. This paper will address the question of how we could work with these often-biased descriptions of Celtic religion. First, reflection upon methodologies used in analysing religious phenomena in medieval Irish texts will be offered. Then case studies will be presented, taking as a starting point the theory suggested by W.M. Lindsay and Michael Herren: some forms of verbal power generally known as loricae were perhaps forms of verbal defense that missionaries in the Celtic lands used against verbal attacks in the form of spells by the religious functionaries that they encountered. Can we find out anything about the form and content of these native formulae?
(source: academia.edu)
UvA Dare repository: <link>
Borsje, Jacqueline, Ann Dooley, Séamus Mac Mathúna, and Gregory Toner (eds), Celtic cosmology: perspectives from Ireland and Scotland, Papers in Mediaeval Studies, 26, Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2014. viii + 316 pp.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “The second spell in the Stowe Missal”, in: Cathinka Hambro, and Lars Ivar Widerøe (eds), Lochlann: Festskrift til Jan Erik Rekdal på 60-årsdagen / Aistí in ómós do Jan Erik Rekdal ar a 60ú lá breithe, Oslo: Hermes Academic, 2013. 12–26.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “A spell called éle”, in: Gregory Toner, and Séamus Mac Mathúna (eds), Ulidia 3: proceedings of the Third International Conference on the Ulster Cycle of Tales, University of Ulster, Coleraine 22–25 June, 2009. In memoriam Patrick Leo Henry, Berlin: curach bhán, 2013. 193–212.
Borsje, Jacqueline, The Celtic evil eye and related mythological motifs in medieval Ireland, Studies in the History and Anthropology of Religion, 2, Louvain: Peeters Publishers, 2012.  
From the publisher: If looks could kill... They can, according to medieval Irish texts - our richest literary inheritance in a Celtic language. The belief in evil, angry or envious eyes casting harmful glances that destroy their target is widespread. This is the first comprehensive study of 'the evil eye' in medieval Ireland. We follow the trail from Balor the fearsome one-eyed giant and other evil-eyed kings to saints casting the evil eye, and many others. This study surveys a fascinating body of Irish literature and also examines the evidence for belief in the evil eye in the daily life of medieval Ireland, where people tried to protect themselves against this purported harm by legislation, rituals, verbal precautions and remedies. Related mythological imagery is tracked down and a lost tale about a doomed king who follows a sinister-eyed woman into the Otherworld is reconstructed on the basis of surviving fragments. The edition and translation of a medieval Irish legal text by Fergus Kelly and two sagas in English translation conclude the volume.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Zlo i meniajutshujusia priroda tchudivitsh v renneirlandskih textah [Зло и меняющаяся природа чудовищ в раннеирландских текстах]”, Atlantika 10 (2012): 3–20.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Love magic in medieval Irish penitentials, law and literature: a dynamic perspective”, Studia Neophilologica 84:Supplement 1, Special issue (2012): 6–23.
Tandfonline.com: <link>
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Bodb”, in: John T. Koch, and Antone Minard [eds.], The Celts: history, life and culture, 2 vols, vol. 1, Santa Barbara (CA): ABC-Clio, 2012. 100–101.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Liefdestoverij in middeleeuws Ierland”, in: Angela Berlis, and Anne-Marie Korte [eds.], Alledaags en buitengewoon: spiritualiteit in vrouwendomeinen, Vught: Skandalon, 2012. 97–109.
Dare.uva.nl – e-print: <link>
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Digitizing Irish and Dutch charms”, in: Tatyana Mikhailova, Jonathan Roper, Andrey Toporkov, and Dmitry S. Nikolayev (eds), Oral charms in structural and comparative light. Proceedings of the Conference of the ISFNR Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming 27-29th October 2011 Moscow, Moscow: PROBEL-2000, 2011. 128–137.
Verbalcharms.ru – eprint (PDF): <link>
Borsje, Jacqueline, “De eerste persoon enkelvoud in middeleeuwse Ierse toverspreuken”, Kelten: Mededelingen van de Stichting A. G. van Hamel voor Keltische Studies 50 — thema ‘Getallen’ (May, 2011): 3–5.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Rules & legislation on love charms in early medieval Ireland”, Peritia 21 (2010): 172–190.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Monotheistic to a certain extent. The ‘good neighbours’ of God in Ireland”, in: Anne-Marie Korte, and Maaike de Haardt (eds), The boundaries of monotheism: interdisciplinary explorations into the foundations of western monotheism, 13, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2009. 53–82.
UvA Digital Academic Repository: <link>
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Sila slova v srednevekovoj Irlandii [The power of words in medieval Ireland]”, in: Tatyana Mikhailova, A. Muradova, and D. Nikolaev (eds), Magija formuly [The magic of a formula], Moscow: Thesaurus, 2009. 15–20.
UvA Digital Academic Repository: <link>
Borsje, Jacqueline, “ [Review of: Stacey, Robin Chapman, Dark speech: the performance of law in early Ireland, The Middle Ages Series, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.]”, Celtic Studies Association of North America Newsletter 26:2 (2009): 8–11.
UvA Digital Academic Repository – PDF: <link>
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Supernatural threats to kings: exploration of a motif in the Ulster cycle and in other medieval Irish tales”, in: Ruairí Ó hUiginn, and Brian Ó Catháin (eds), Ulidia 2: proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Ulster Cycle of Tales, Maynooth 24-27 July 2005, Maynooth: An Sagart, 2009. 173–194.
UvA Digital Academic Repository: <link>
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Druids, deer and ‘words of power’: coming to terms with evil in Medieval Ireland”, in: Katja Ritari, and Alexandra Bergholm (eds), Approaches to religion and mythology in Celtic studies, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2008. 122–149.
UvA Digital Academic Repository: <link>
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Druids, deer and ‘words of power’: coming to terms with evil in Medieval Ireland”, in: Nelly van Doorn-Harder, and Lourens Minnema (eds), Coping with evil in religion and culture. Case studies, 35, Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2008. 25–49.  
Shorter version of an article published in 2008.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Het mensenoffer als literair motief in het middeleeuwse Ierland. Deel 2”, In-Nuachta 22 (2007): 8–21.
Borsje, Jacqueline, “Demonising the enemy: a study of Congal Cáech”, in: Jan Erik Rekdal, and Ailbhe Ó Corráin (eds), Proceedings of the Eighth Symposium of Societas Celtologica Nordica, 7, Uppsala: University of Uppsala, 2007. 21–38.
UvA Digital Academic Repository: <link>


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Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
March 2018, last updated: September 2021