IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 837: Female Religious Experiences in Times of Reform: The Strength of New Religious Movements towards Non-Regular Communities in Portugal, 13th-15th Centuries

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Instituto de Estudos Medievais / Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa / Centro de Estudos de História Religiosa, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Organiser:João Luís Fontes, Instituto de Estudos Medievais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa / Centro de Estudos de História Religiosa, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Moderator/Chair:Mário Farelo, Instituto de Estudos Medievais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa / Centro de Estudos de História Religiosa, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Paper 837-aFrom Reclusion to the Monastery: The Origins of Some Portuguese Houses of Cistercians and Poor Clares in the 13th Century
(Language: English)
Filomena Pimentel de Carvalho Andrade, Universidade Aberta, Lisboa
Luís Miguel Rêpas, Instituto de Estudos Medievais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Index terms: Gender Studies, Monasticism, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Paper 837-bOn the Heels of the Female Communities of the Poor Life: The Cases of Lisbon and Évora, 14th-15th Centuries
(Language: English)
João Luís Fontes, Instituto de Estudos Medievais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa / Centro de Estudos de História Religiosa, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Index terms: Gender Studies, Lay Piety, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 837-cThe Making of an Observant Model: The Hagiographical Narratives of a Portuguese Dominican Nunnery
(Language: English)
Gilberto Coralejo Moiteiro, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria / Instituto de Estudos Medievais, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Index terms: Hagiography, Monasticism, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Abstract

This session intends to present a group of studies having in common female monastic communities founded in Portugal between the 13th and 15th centuries that in their origins were bound to some form of non-regular religious experience. While in the older instances (dating from the 13th century), several Cistercian and Clarisse monasteries were preceded by groups of women having adopted a life of voluntary seclusion, for the 14th and specially the 15th centuries they tend to give room to new forms of non-regular experiences, in which small groups of lay women voluntarily adopt poverty, chastity and obeyance to the diocesan bishop. Their relation with ecclesiastical and lay authorities would evolve, leading to the gradual transformation of these groups into monastic communities, specially linked to the Dominican Order. The Dominican monastery of Aveiro would play a crucial role in this process, as a model of an observant female community, marked by a more affective and personal spirituality, but clearly distinguished from those non-regular communities, described as something near the ancient beguines. The texts produced in this monastery, specially the hagiography of Princess Joana, a lay woman living beside the monastery and deceased there, reinforce the exemplarity of this community and legitimate its role in the integration of such non-regular female groups in the Dominican Order.
These three approaches will allow the discussion of the role played by female non-regular experiences in the renewal of medieval religious life, its own evolution taking the shape of self-inflicted reclusion and poverty in the setting of small urban communities, and finally of the ways of their institutionalization.