Questo articolo è stato sottoposto a double blind peer review
Questo articolo è stato pubblicato in: Ocula 23, Fiori dell'anima. La simbologia dei fiori nell'immaginario religioso
autore: Jenny Ponzo (Department of Philosophy and Educational Sciences, University of Turin (IT))
The floral smell of sanctity and the semiotics of the halo
lingua: inglesedata di pubblicazione: luglio 2020
abstract: The hagiographic discourse often uses floral metaphors to describe spiritual qualities. This is the case for instance with Thérèse of Lisieux’s autobiography, in which the saint compares herself to humble flowers, and in particular to the violet, which is not evident for her shape, but attracts the attention thanks to her scent. The same metaphor is developed by Pius XII in the discourse he pronounced in occasion of the beatification of Frère Bénilde in 1948. The violet is also one of the flowers the scent of which is connected to the charisma of the osmogenesis, which Catholic tradition describes as a particular gift of the saints consisting in being surrounded by an extremely good scent, which remains in the places where they go, on the objects that they touch, and sometimes emanates from the body even after death. The floral scent works in this case as an indexical sign. The osmogenesis can be compared with the concept of aura present in many cultures: the representation of a halo of fragrance can be interpreted as an alternative to a more frequent figurativization of the aura consisting in the representation of a luminous and coloured halo around the human body. The halo, both in its olfactory and visual variants, works as a particular semiotic system, entailing both spatial and temporal features.keywords: osmogenesis, halo, sanctity, charisma, flowers, body, olfaction, scent, aura
citazione: Jenny Ponzo, The floral smell of sanctity and the semiotics of the halo, "Ocula", vol.21, n.23, pp.109-123, luglio 2020. DOI: 10.12977/ocula2020-31
Ocula.it pubblica saggi di ricerca semiotica, in particolare applicata alla comunicazione e alla cultura, è aperta al dialogo con altri campi di ricerca e accoglie contributi che provengono da ogni ambito delle scienze umane e sociali.