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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 529: Enclosed for Life: The Rigidity (or Permeability) of Anchoritic Borders, I - Borders in the Landscape

Tuesday 7 July 2020, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:International Anchoritic Society
Organiser:Victoria Yuskaitis, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Moderator/Chair:Alicia Smith, Queen's College, University of Oxford
Paper 529-aVisualising the Architectural Space of the Hermit's Cave in Early Medieval Ireland and Britain
(Language: English)
Colleen Thomas, Independent Scholar, Dublin
Index terms: Art History - Sculpture, Hagiography, Monasticism
Paper 529-bWomen at the Door: Female Religious on the Borders of Male Spiritual Space
(Language: English)
Kathryn L. Jasper, Department of History, Illinois State University
Index terms: Daily Life, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 529-cAnchoritic Borders in the Welsh Marches: A Welsh Grave Slab in a Shropshire Anchorite Cell
(Language: English)
Victoria Yuskaitis, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Geography and Settlement Studies, Medievalism and Antiquarianism, Religious Life

Medieval anchorites were simultaneously enclosed within cells and exposed through the presence of these cells; restricted physically and unrestrained mentally; dead to the world and reliant upon the church community to fulfil their vocations. The walls of the anchorite cell have been described as tomb-like, but also as permeable via the few windows. Can a border exist without the potential for that boundary to be breached? Is there a difference between the rhetoric of borders and the lived experience of these boundaries? How were anchoritic borders created and maintained, and for what purpose - and what happened when these borders failed to function?