Religion
in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry, 1066-1500
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This chapter contains a selection of translated and annotated texts on religion. Men and women of the nobility and gentry living in the world were encouraged to practise their religion through attendance at Mass, private prayer on behalf of themselves and the dead, works of charity, pilgrimage, and material support of the Church. Alternatively, they could enter a monastery or nunnery to take up a life of religion. As far as the noblewoman's own religious life was concerned, religious teaching in childhood was regarded as vital, and this was especially important in the later Middle Ages as lay people came increasingly to participate in religious practice. Religious observance during life and at and after death was designed to help the woman towards salvation. Good works were regarded as an integral part of the women's religious activity, and charity was viewed as securing remission of time in Purgatory.

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