Cultures of Devotion

Title

Cultures of Devotion

Files

Document Type

Book Chapter

Description

Chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe.

Cultures of devotion in multiple forms were central to medieval lives, and because of their significance they became sites for defining and negotiating gender identities and issues. The essay first examines whether participation in communal rituals and popular devotion was open to women as well as to men. A second issue was the availability of membership for women in the religious orders, and a third was the relationship between male religious authorities and the women who sought a life of holiness, whether in or out of traditional communities. Other topics involve the gendered role of visual images and material objects in stimulating mystical experiences, and the role of devotional texts explicitly addressed to women. Finally, the essay takes up the destabilizing of gender identities in the language of medieval spirituality. In all cases, new paradigms and scholarship of the last forty years have challenged previous assertions about religious culture.

ISBN

9780199582174

Publication Date

2013

Publisher

Oxford University

City

Oxford

Keywords

lay/laity, communities, mysticism, devotional, image, text

Disciplines

English Language and Literature

Cultures of Devotion


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