Listen,Daughter: The Speculum Virginum and the Formation of Religious Women in the Middle Ages

Listen,Daughter: The Speculum Virginum and the Formation of Religious Women in the Middle Ages

by C. J. Mews
     
 

The words “Listen daughter” (Audi filia, from Psalm 44) were frequently used in exhortations to religious women in the 12th century, a period of dramatic growth in the involvement of women in various forms of religious life. This volume looks at the “Mirror for Virgins” (Speculum Virginum ), an illustrated dialogue between a

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Overview

The words “Listen daughter” (Audi filia, from Psalm 44) were frequently used in exhortations to religious women in the 12th century, a period of dramatic growth in the involvement of women in various forms of religious life. This volume looks at the “Mirror for Virgins” (Speculum Virginum ), an illustrated dialogue between a nun and her spiritual mentor written by a monk not long before Hildegard of Bingen started to record her visions. An appendix provides the first English translation, by Barbara Newman, of significant excerpts from the Speculum.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Praise for Mews's The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard: This excellent edition allows us modern readers to interpret these medieval Latin letters for ourselves, and even to reconstruct the correspondence of Abelard and Heloise.” —M.T. Clanchy, The Times Literary Supplement

“a thorough, sympathetic appraisal of the [letters]. . . By restoring this magnificent literary dialogue to its rightful place in Latin letters, Mews has performed a signal service not only for scholars of Abelard and Heloise, but for all who love literature.” —The Medieval Review

“Informed by thorough scholarship, this volume provides insight into the changing world of religious women...” —Library Journal

Library Journal
Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology at Monash University and author of The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard, Mews provides an introduction to the 12th-century Speculum virginum ("Mirror for Virgins") along with 12 essays by various contributors, situating the work in its historical and ecclesiastical milieu. Supplementing the essays is the first English translation of almost 30 pages of excerpts from this medieval work. Speculum virginum, an illustrated dialog between a virgin and her male spiritual mentor, was written by a monk at a time when the role of religious women was changing. In this text, which was significant to the identity of religious women between the 12th and early 16th centuries, he explains what is expected of her in her devotion to the religious life. Such written spiritual discourses were previously devoted to male-male instructional relationships. Informed by thorough scholarship, this volume provides insight into the changing world of religious women and will especially interest medievalists and feminists. Highly recommended for academic and seminary collections. Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312240080
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
11/10/2001
Series:
New Middle Ages Series
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.87(d)

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