IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1526: Medieval Women's Theology at Helfta

Thursday 12 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Laura Marie Grimes, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto
Moderator/Chair:Debra L. Stoudt, Department of Foreign Languages, University of Toledo, Ohio
Paper 1526-aImperial Rose: The Virgin Mary in the Theology of Gertrud of Helfta and Mechthild of Magdeburg
(Language: English)
Laura Marie Grimes, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto
Index terms: Gender Studies, Religious Life, Theology, Women’s Studies
Paper 1526-cDivine Communication: Mechthild of Hackeborn's Imagery of the Trinitarian God
(Language: English)
Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen, Afdeling for Teologi, Aarhus Universitet
Index terms: Gender Studies, Religious Life, Theology, Women’s Studies
Abstract

This session explores the intersection of monastic and vernacular theology with mystical experience, through the works of three outstanding women at the German monastery of Helfta in the 13th century: the nuns Gertrud of Helfta and Mechthild of Hackeborn, and the retired Beguine Mechthild of Magdeburg. Their sophisticated and creative reflections on the Virgin, Christ, and the Trinity weave together vision accounts and devotional recommendations with a variety of sources ranging from scripture and liturgy to courtly love poetry. This allows them to exercise theological teaching authority within the gender constraints of their time, while offering texts of spiritual vibrance and literary power to both lay and clerical audiences.