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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 218: New Directions in the Study of Women Religious, II: Individual Agency, Change, and Reform

Monday 6 July 2015, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:History of Women Religious of Britain & Ireland Network (H-WBRI)
Organisers:Kimm Curran, History Lab+, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
Kirsty Day, Institute for Medieval Studies / School of History, University of Leeds
Moderator/Chair:Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane, Division of Social Science, University of Minnesota, Morris
Paper 218-aSomething Looms: The Vita Mixta and the Work of Women in a Late Medieval Franconian Convent
(Language: English)
Dongwon Esther Kim, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Art History - Decorative Arts, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Paper 218-bNuns Reforming Devotional Life: Creating a Reformed Devotional Community with the Dutch Vision and Exemplum of Jacomijne Costers
(Language: English)
Clarck Drieshen, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Language and Literature - Dutch, Monasticism, Religious Life, Women's Studies

Changes that occurred within communities of medieval female religious, including reform, as well as the choice of religious rule that a women’s community was to follow is often depicted by scholars as acts made by male agents working outside of the community. Through explorations of female founders of monastic communities, the narration of reform in visionary literature, and the linguistic feminisation of the Benedictine rule by a nun, the papers in this session demonstrate the great extent to which female religious exercised agency over their own religious lives. Moreover, it demonstrates that scholars cannot afford to keep ignoring the evidence of female religious in surveys of monastic reform.