Gendered Voices: Medieval Saints and Their Interpreters

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Overview

"These studies . . . not only illuminate the past with a fierce and probing light but also raise, with nuance and power, fundamental issues of interpretation and method."—from the Foreword by Caroline Walker Bynum

Female saints, mystics, and visionaries have been much studied in recent years. Relatively little attention has been paid, however, to the ways in which their experiences and voices were mediated by the men who often composed their vitae, served as their editors and scribes, or otherwise encouraged, protected, and collaborated with the women in their writing projects. What strategies can be employed to discern and distinguish the voices of these high and late medieval women from those of their scribes and confessors? In those rare cases where we have both the women's own writings and writings about them by their male contemporaries, how do the women's self-portrayals diverge from the male portrayals of them? Finally, to what extent are these portrayals of sanctity by the saints and their contemporaries influenced not so much by gender as by genre?

Catherine Mooney brings together a distinguished group of contributors who explore these and other issues as they relate to seven holy women and their male interpreters and one male saint who claims to incorporate the words of a female follower in an account of his own life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812216875
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/1999
  • Series: The Middle Ages Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine M. Mooney teaches history at Virginia Commonwealth University.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
List of Abbreviations
1 Voice, Gender, and the Portrayal of Sanctity 1
2 Hildegard and Her Hagiographers: The Remaking of Female Sainthood 16
3 Holy Woman or Unworthy Vessel? The Representations of Elisabeth of Schonau 35
4 Imitatio Christi or Imitatio Mariae? Clare of Assisi and Her Interpreters 52
5 Inside Out: Beatrice of Nazareth and Her Hagiographer 78
6 A Marriage and Its Observer: Christine of Stommeln, the Heavenly Bridegroom, and Friar Peter of Dacia 99
7 Henry Suso and Elsbeth Stagel: Was the Vita a Cooperative Effort? 118
8 Mystical Death, Bodily Death: Catherine of Siena and Raymond of Capua on the Mystic's Encounter with God 136
9 Authorizing a Life: The Collaboration of Dorothea of Montau and John Marienwerder 168
Notes 193
The Saints and Their Interpreters: Selected Primary Sources in Original Languages 257
Contributors 261
Index of Modern Authors 265
General Index 270
Acknowledgments 277
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