Christian others and monstrosity in British literature (1350-1550)
The last two decades have brought along much scholarship in regard to monstrosity within literature. This has been thoroughly shown through the ways in which Christians in England have made monsters of other religions. Christians have repeatedly, especially in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance, made Muslims and Jews monstrous in their literature, but not much work has been done to argue that Christians often did the same to themselves. The orthodox Christian of the West used monstrosity to warn against accepting heterodox practices of Christianity. I posit that this manifests differently through the centuries in geographical distance and what makes the Other, Other, but the goals remain the same. Whether it be the quasi-Christians in The Book of John Mandeville, Margery Kempe’s frightening, heterodox Christianity in The Book of Margery Kempe, or the liminal Christian in Beware the Cat, the Christian Self continued to fear the existence of Christian Others.