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[Perspectives] Hearing medieval voices

Hearing voices without external stimuli: in the popular imagination, auditory hallucination is most often understood as a symptom of severe mental disorders. Yet voice-hearing is also an important aspect of lived experience, not always satisfactorily addressed by medical diagnosis and treatment. Looking across cultures and historical eras suggests a wide range of possible kinds of voice-hearing experience. The medieval period is of special interest because its thought-world takes for granted the possibility of the supernatural and its theories of medicine and psychology offer powerful explanatory models for hallucinatory experience.

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