Tuesday Jun 06, 2023

Benedetta Carlini

What's your favorite Paul Verhoeven film? We knew you were going to say Showgirls–but we'll put in a word for his latest, Benedetta, with Charlotte Rampling acting up a storm and nuns diddling each other with dildos carved out of statues of the Virgin. Improbably, the film is based on a true story: and within it, and within its subject's life, there are important themes of power, gender transgression, sin, belief and deviance that are worth discussing in more detail. Today, we discuss the 16th century mystic nun, lesbian, possibly demonically possessed and possibly visionary heretic, Benedetta Carlini.

Our paperback is available now!


Brown, Judith C. Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy. Reprint édition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1986.
———. “Lesbian Sexuality in Renaissance Italy: The Case of Sister Benedetta Carlini.” Signs 9, no. 4 (1984): 751–58.
Cohn, Norman. The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages, Revised and Expanded Edition. Revised edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.
Ginzburg, Carlo. The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller. Translated by John Tedeschi and Anne C. Tedeschi. Reprint edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.
“The Word Made Fresh: Mystical Encounter and the New Weird Divine - Journal #92.” Accessed June 6, 2023. https://www.e-flux.com/journal/92/205298/the-word-made-fresh-mystical-encounter-and-the-new-weird-divine/.
Our intro and outro music are, respectively, Arpeggia Colorix, by Yann Terrien, and a tune written for us by DJ Michael Oswell Graphic Designer.

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