Medieval Holy Women in the Christian Tradition c.1100-c.1500

Overview

Medieval Holy Women in the Christian Tradition offers the first wide-ranging study of the remarkable women who contributed to the efflorescence of female piety and visionary experience in Europe between 1100 and 1500. This volume offers essays by prominent scholars in the field which extend the boundaries of our previous knowledge and understanding of medieval holy women. While some essays provide new perspectives on the familiar names of the unofficial canon of mulieres sanctae, many others bring into the ...

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Overview

Medieval Holy Women in the Christian Tradition offers the first wide-ranging study of the remarkable women who contributed to the efflorescence of female piety and visionary experience in Europe between 1100 and 1500. This volume offers essays by prominent scholars in the field which extend the boundaries of our previous knowledge and understanding of medieval holy women. While some essays provide new perspectives on the familiar names of the unofficial canon of mulieres sanctae, many others bring into the spotlight women less familiar now, but influential in their own time and richly deserving of scholarly attention. The five general essays establish a context for understanding the issues affecting female religious witness in the later Middle Ages. The geographical arrangement of the volume allows the reader to develop an awareness of the particular cultural and religious forces in seven different regions and to recognize how these influenced the writing and reception of the holy women of that area. Seventeen major figures have essays devoted exclusively to each of them; in addition, the survey chapters on each region introduce the reader to many more. The extensive bibliographies which follow each chapter encourage further reading and study.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Alastair Minnis was Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies and Head of the Department of English at the University of York, and is currently Douglas Tracy Smith Professor of English at Yale University. A Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and of the English Association, he is the author of six monographs and the editor or co-editor of fifteen further volumes. Rosalynn Voaden (D.Phil., University of York, UK) is the author of God's Words, Women's Voices: The Discernment of Spirits in the Writing of Late-Medieval Women Visionaries, and is the editor or co-editor of several volumes in the field. She was a Research Fellow at St Anne's College, Oxford, and is currently Associate Professor of English at Arizona State University.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

List of Abbreviations xi

Introduction Alastair Minnis Rosalynn Voaden 1

Introductory Essays

Flesh and Spirit: The Female Body Dyan Elliott 13

Religious Roles: Public and Private Alastair Minnis 47

Women's Textual Authority and the Collaboration of Clerics John Coakley 83

Communal Life: The Sister-books John Van Engen 105

Women and Dissent Peter Biller 133

Part 1 The British Isles

Holy Women in the British Isles: A Survey Anne Clark Bartlett 165

Julian of Norwich Liz Herbert McAvoy 195

Margery Kempe Anthony Goodman 217

Part 2 France

Holy Women in France: A Survey Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski 241

Heloise Constant J. Mews 267

Marguerite Porete Michael G. Sargent 291

Part 3 The German Territories

Holy Women in the German Territories: A Survey Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker 313

Hildegard of Bingen Kathryn Kerby-Fulton 343

Elisabeth of Schönau Anne L. Clark 371

Margaret Ebner Barbara Koch 393

Mechthild of Magdeburg Amy Hollywood Patricia Z. Beckman 411

Mechthild of Hackeborn Rosalynn Voaden 431

Gertrude the Great of Helfta Alexandra Barratt Debra L. Stoudt 453

Dorothy of Montau Ute Stargardt 475

Part 4 The Iberian Peninsula

Iberian Holy Women: A Survey Ronald E. Surtz 499

Part 5 Italy

Italian Holy Women: A Survey E. Ann Matter 529

Agnes of Prague and Guglielma of Milan Barbara Newman 557

Angela of Foligno Cristina Mazzoni 581

Catherine of Siena Suzanne Noffke 601

Part 6 The Low Countries

Holy Women of the Low Countries: A Survey Walter Simons 625

Hadewijch Saskia Murk-Jansen 663

Part 7 Scandinavia

Holy Women of Scandinavia: A Survey Claire L. Sahlin 689

List of Contributors 725

Index 729

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