Guidance for Women in Twelfth-century Convents
These translated letters and texts composed for younger and older women in twelfth-century convents illuminate the powerful medieval ideals of virginity and chastity. They show that the literature of virginity and chastity could offer a wide range of role models and precedents for women in the medieval church, both in their spiritual formation and in the practical concerns of their monastic lives. Abelard's history of women's roles in the church and his letter on women's education, both written for Heloise in her work as abbess, are seen here alongside previously untranslated letters and texts for abbesses and nuns in England and France. Osbert of Clare, Goscelin of St Bertin and the women of Barking together with Peter the Venerable and the women of Marcigny offer fresh comparisons and contexts for the famous correspondence of Heloise and Abelard, as well as insight into the rich literary and cultural life of other women and men in religion. An interpretive essay explores the practical and spiritual engagement of women's convents with medieval commemorative and memorial practices, showing that the professional concern of women religious with death goes far beyond the stereotype of nuns as dead to the world, or enclosed in living death. VERA MORTON gained an MA in Medieval Studies at the University of Liverpool in 1994. JOCELYN WOGAN-BROWNE is Professor of English at Fordham University, NY.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
abbess Abelard able according Adelidis Ages angels apostles appear Barking bishop blessed body brothers called carried Cecilia century chastity Christ Christian church comes concern convent CSEL daughter dead death desire devotion encouraged England English Ethelburga example faith father fear female flesh follow gender give given glory grace hand heart heaven heavenly Heloise holy honour Jerome Jerusalem John Judith kind king language later Latin learning letters living London Lord Luke Margaret marriage Mary Matt means Medieval memory mind monastic mother nature nieces nunneries nuns offered Osbert performed Peter praise prayers prepared present priests received refers religious remained Rome saints says seems sister Song soul spiritual teaching things tion tomb translation University Press virginity virtue whole widows wish woman women writing written