Fragmentation and Redemption

Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion

Fragmentation and Redemption

Caroline Walker Bynum examines diverse medieval texts to show how women were able to appropriate dominant social symbols in ways that allowed for the emergence of their own creative voices.

Christian Materiality

An Essay on Religion in Late Medieval Europe

Christian Materiality

Late Medieval Christianity's encounter with miraculous materials viewed in the context of changing conceptions of matter itself.

The Body and the Soul in Medieval Literature

The Body and the Soul in Medieval Literature

The theme of the body-and-soul relationship in medieval texts and in modern reworkings of medieval matter is explored in the articles here, specifically the representation of the body in romance; the relevance of bawdy tales to the cultural experience of authors and readers in the middle ages; the function of despair, or melancholy, in medieval and Renaissance literature; and the political significance of late medieval representations of `bodies' in the chroniclers' accounts of the Rising and in Gower's poems. Two articles are devoted to modern retellings of medieval themes: John Foxe's Acts and Monuments, seen in relation to the traditional acta martyrum, and the medieval revival in Tory Britain exemplified in Douglas Oliver's The Infant and the Pearl. Contributors: PAMELA JOSEPH BENSON, NIGEL S. THOMPSON, JON WHITMAN, JEROME MANDEL, BARBARA NOLAN, YASUNARI TAKADA, YVETTE MARCHAND, ROBERT F. YEAGER, JOERG O. FICHTE, JOHN KERRIGAN

The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe

The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe

The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe provides a comprehensive overview of the gender rules encountered in Europe in the period between approximately 500 and 1500 C.E. The essays collected in this volume speak to interpretative challenges common to all fields of women's and gender history - that is, how best to uncover the experiences of ordinary people from archives formed mainly by and about elite males, and how to combine social histories of lived experiences with cultural histories of gendered discourses and identities. The collection focuses on Western Europe in the Middle Ages but offers some consideration of medieval Islam and Byzantium. The Handbook is structured into seven sections: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thought; law in theory and practice; domestic life and material culture; labour, land, and economy; bodies and sexualities; gender and holiness; and the interplay of continuity and change throughout the medieval period. It contains material from some of the foremost scholars in this field, and it not only serves as the major reference text in medieval and gender studies, but also provides an agenda for future new research.

History in the Comic Mode

Medieval Communities and the Matter of Person

History in the Comic Mode

In this groundbreaking collection, twenty-one prominent medievalists discuss continuity and change in ideas of personhood and community and argue for the viability of the comic mode in the study and recovery of history. These scholars approach their sources not from a particular ideological viewpoint but with an understanding that all topics, questions, and explanations are viable. They draw on a variety of sources in Latin, Arabic, French, German, Middle English, and more, and employ a range of theories and methodologies, always keeping in mind that environments are inseparable from the making of the people who inhabit them and that these people are in part constituted by and understood in terms of their communities. Essays feature close readings of both familiar and lesser known materials, offering provocative interpretations of John of Rupescissa's alchemy; the relationship between the living and the saintly dead in Bernard of Clairvaux's sermons; the nomenclature of heresy in the early eleventh century; the apocalyptic visions of Robert of Uzès; Machiavelli's De principatibus; the role of "demotic religiosity" in economic development; and the visions of Elizabeth of Schönau. Contributors write as historians of religion, art, literature, culture, and society, approaching their subjects through the particular and the singular rather than through the thematic and the theoretical. Playing with the wild possibilities of the historical fragments at their disposal, the scholars in this collection advance a new and exciting approach to writing medieval history.

Common Bodies

Everyday Practices, Gender and Religion

Common Bodies

The gendered body in its common, everyday activities and references is the central focus of this book. Recognizing the highly abstract and often 'disembodied' character of contemporary discussions on 'the body' in relation to gender, subjectivity and discourse, the authors of this anthology start their inquiries at a more mundane level by studying 'common bodies': human bodies and bodily practices in daily situations of (domestic) work and care, of sex, love and violence, and of prayer and ritual. From this angle of 'corporeal agency' they discuss the meaning of religion, religiosity, transcendence and/or Divinity.

Self/Same/Other

Re-visioning the Subject in Literature and Theology

Self/Same/Other

This collection of essays explores the way our notions of self, other, subjectivity, gender and the sacred text are being re-visioned within contemporary theory. These new ways of conceiving create upheavals and radical shifts that rework our understanding of philosophical, psychological, political, sexual and spiritual identity, allowing us to trace the fault lines, regulatory forces, exclusions and unmarked spaces both within our selves, and within the discourses that attend these selves. As such, revisionings break down borders, and the encounter of literature and theology becomes a crucial focus for these explorations, as the self learns to resituate its own being creatively vis-a-vis others and, ultimately, the Other.

Religion and Devotion in Europe, C.1215- C.1515

Religion and Devotion in Europe, C.1215- C.1515

This is the first one-volume survey in English of religion and devotion in Europe between 1215 and 1515. Intended primarily as a student textbook, it provides essential background for a proper appreciation of medieval Western society. Avoiding the history of institutional structures, the book concentrates on the spirituality that the medieval Church sought to promulgate and control. Its thematic structure provides accessible surveys of major themes, and addresses recent debates about key aspects of medieval Catholicism.

A Companion to Middle English Hagiography

A Companion to Middle English Hagiography

The Saints' Life was one of the most popular forms of literature in medieval England. This volume offers crucial information for an understanding of the genre.