Article – J. Ponzo, Ideology, Transcendent Values and Flying Saints (Lexia, 2023)

Jenny Ponzo, Ideology, Transcendent Values and Flying Saints, Lexia 41-42 (2023), pp. 385–402. Download the complete issue here.

Abstract. This essay starts with a theoretical reflection about ideology and the proposal of an analytic method applied to narrative texts. It then focuses on a case study connected to a category of values inspired by an idea of transcendence that often finds figurative expression in the theme of flight. This theme and its underlying values are explored first in the Christian–Catholic hagiographic–mystical literature and then in a sample of contemporary artworks that re–elaborate the religious theme of levitation or mystical flight from a secularized perspective. The transcendent values identified in the narratives under consideration are then contextualized in a more universal human quest for lightness, intended as a value underlying a widespread utopia based on the ideal to break free from the weight of the world.

What is NeMoSanctI?


NeMoSanctI is a research project carried out at the University of Turin. It studies how models of sanctity have changed after the Second Vatican Council. To this end, it applies a pioneering methodology based on semiotic theory to a wide corpus of normative, judicial, and narrative texts.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 757314).