The Speculum Virginum and the Formation of Religious Women in the Middle Ages
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Listen Daughter by Dr Constant J. Mews
Book DescriptionThe words 'Listen daughter' (Audi filia, from Psalm 44 in the Latin Vulgate) were frequently used in exhortations to religious women in the twelfth century. This was a period of dramatic growth in the involvement of women in various forms of religious life. While Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) has become widely known in recent years as one of the most eloquent and original voices of the period, she is often seen as a figure in isolation from her context. She lived at a time of much questioning of traditional models of religious life, by women as well as by men. This volume introduces readers to a range of strategies provoked by the growth in women's participation in religious life in one form or another, as well as to male responses to this development. In particular, it 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 started to record her visions. While this treatise engages in dialogue with a fictional virgin, other writings present women (not just Hildegard) as teaching both women and men. An appendix will provide the first English translation of significant excerpts from the Speculum, as well as from other little known texts about religious women from the age of Hildegard. The underlying concern of this volume is to examine new ways in which religious life for women was conceived by men as well as interpreted in practice by women within a society firmly patriarchal in character.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780312240080
(216mm x 140mm x 25mm)
Imprint: St Martin's Press
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publish Date: 8-Feb-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Dr Constant J. Mews
Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard, Paperback (November 2008)
This new edition offers fascinating insights into one of the most celebrated love affairs of the Middle Ages. A new chapter charts the debate about the letters and offers fresh evidence to attribute them to Abelard and Heloise. The complete Latin text is reproduced with an annotated translation by Chiavaroli and Mews.
Abelard and Heloise, Paperback (January 2005)» View all books by Dr Constant J. Mews
Presents a brief introduction to the lives and thought of two of the most controversial personalities of the Middle Ages. Abelard and Heloise are familiar names. It is their "star quality," argues the author, that has prevented them from being seen clearly in the context of 12th-century thought - that task he has set himself in this book.
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Author Biography - Dr Constant J. Mews
CONSTANT J. MEWS teaches in the Department of History at Monash University in Australia, where he is also Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology.
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