Margery Kempe establishes the authority of her body and pleasures on the grounds of her “singularity,” leading her to defend a stance on universal salvation from an expansive conception of Heaven that is surprising in its acceptance of sexual gratifications. Drawn in part from Richard Rolle’s self-authorizing singularity that unites the term’s meanings of both solitude and exceptionality, Kempe’s term is fitted to the circumstances of her own social, worldly life. She presents her achieved solitude not as a turning away from the world, but instead as the world’s rejecting her, and specifically her eccentricities. Her life story proposes that the more singular she is, the more people will resist her; and the more that people resist her, the more surely her singular life is confirmed as God-inspired. Her singularity thus brings about the will of God, and her singular life affirms her material body as a glorified body in a realization of Heaven on earth. From her embrace of singularity, Kempe discovers a revaluation of bodily pleasure and a reimagining of community that results in her insistence on a Kingdom of Heaven open to everyone, a community based on the celebration of singularities—however queer—rather than on conformity.

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