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Alison I. Beach, Shannon M.T. Li, and Samuel S. Sutherland

An account of the Translation of the relics of St. Gebhard describes in detail the festivities surrounding the canonization of the monastery’s founder and the consecration of the newly renovated church and chapels.

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
Simha Goldin

In the Middle Ages the status of women in the Jewish community underwent a real and fundamental change. Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac had recognized that women conducted business within the community and with Christians, and in his opinion this did not present a problem. The economic activities of Jewish women in northern France and Germany centred on small loans, made on the basis of pledges, to Christian women, who used the money to finance their routine household expenses. Licoricia of Winchester's saga illustrates how the favourable economic status of a Jewish woman in the Middle Ages could also affect her social status in England in general and in the Jewish community in particular. Another Jewish woman, Chera of Winchester, cooperated economically with the Bishop of Winchester, Peter des Roches.

in Jewish women in europe in the middle ages
Abstract only
Kathleen G. Cushing

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts covered in the preceding chapters of this book. The book explores ecclesiastical reform as a religious idea and a movement against the backdrop of social and religious change in later tenth- and eleventh-century Europe. It seeks to place the relationship between reform and the papacy in the context of the debate about 'transformation' in its many and varied forms. There has been considerable emphasis on how the papacy took an increasingly active part in shaping the direction of reform as well as shaping society. The reform movement left an indelible mark on western European society, and its repercussions would be felt for centuries. The challenge that faced the reformers of the eleventh century, to renew the Church and Christian life, was ultimately the wholesale reinvention of Latin European society.

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century
Simha Goldin

The status of the woman within a newly formed family unit is dependent on a number of factors, the most important of which are her economic power and her position within the marital relationship. This chapter explores the legal structures underpinning women's status within the family unit. The improvement in their economic status had profound effects on women's social standing. The combination of a change in the marriage ceremony and a more exacting social attitude brought about a complete transformation in the financial status of women. The twelfth century witnessed fundamental changes in the status of Jewish women as far as their relationships with their husbands and within the family is concerned. In all areas where Jews lived among Christians, they adapted their patterns of family life to the life style of their environment.

in Jewish women in europe in the middle ages
Simha Goldin

This chapter examines the different approaches to femininity displayed by the men. It presents four paradigms that are the outcome of research blending questions raised within the spheres of gender research and feminist theory with the research methodology of social history. They are the family paradigm, negative male paradigm, Hasidic paradigm, and community paradigm. Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac's entire oeuvre points to the central role of the family and particularly the key position and importance of the woman as the pillar of the Jewish family. In the sections of Sefer Hasidim that describe how a man progresses along the Hasidic path, coping with the female presence, and the constant danger on account of the strong sexual desire is always aroused. In many of the sources the attitude towards women stems from the male sages' conviction that the interests of the community must be given the highest priority.

in Jewish women in europe in the middle ages
Martyrs, converts and anusot (forced converts)
Simha Goldin

From the beginning of the twelfth century, Jewish society was threatened by the Christians. The Jews felt that there could be a recurrence of attacks by Christians as well as attempts to force them to convert to Christianity. Despite its popularity, the Midrash had less impact on the Jews of the Middle Ages than the story of 'the mother and her sons', a well known example of Jewish martyrdom. While the attitude towards the anusot is not positive, Rabbenu Asher ben Yechiel does give them the chance to come back into the fold of Judaism without calling attention to their non-fulfilment of the obligation to kill themselves al kiddush haShem or making this an obstacle to their return. All the genres of Jewish writing in the Middle Ages retain the central role of women in the acts of mavet al kiddush haShem, even though they were all written by men.

in Jewish women in europe in the middle ages
Kathleen G. Cushing

Georges Duby argued that at the heart of changes in marriage, from the looser arrangements of the earlier middle ages to the monogamous tradition increasingly supervised by the Church, there was an important new emphasis on hierarchy. Throughout the earlier middle ages and well into the eleventh century, marriage was not considered to be a sacrament, and in fact was something over which the Church had little if any control. Multiple marriages and widespread concubinage, however much the Church might protest, were essential requirements that established and maintained social order. The reformers' rhetoric was accompanied by increasing accusations of sexual misconduct, more frequent allegations of both spiritual and genealogical incest, and at the same time an increasing exaltation of chastity, continence, asceticism and even spiritual marriage.

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century
Abstract only
Simha Goldin

Medieval Jewish society saw itself as being under siege in a struggle for survival within a Christian population that abounded with threats and temptations, both economic and intellectual. In sources written by the Jews in the first generation following the attack on the Jewish communities in the year 1096, emphasis was laid on the Jewish woman's readiness to lead religious resistance to the death, together with her unswerving devotion to Jewish values. The change in the status of the woman manifested itself in at least three significant ways; in her economic-legal status, in her status within the family and in her social standing. Starting in the twelfth century, a woman stepping down from her bridal canopy was a woman of a new and different status. The women also succeeded in bypassing an almost impossible obstacle in regard to study and education.

in Jewish women in europe in the middle ages
Abstract only
Simha Goldin

The Jewish community was fundamentally a male society, patriarchal in nature, where every facet of life manifested male superiority and control. Nevertheless, the women of this community played an important and often central role in every group and social system. The change in the status of women may be viewed as the result of an overall social change in a Jewish society that was struggling for survival. From the tenth century and until their expulsion towards the end of the medieval period, the Jews of Europe lived mainly in communal settings in Christian towns. Throughout the eleventh century, the Jews were the only people living in northern Europe who did not accept Christianity. Christianity could not remain indifferent to Judaism and the Christians could not ignore the Jews dwelling in their midst. Both groups competed for the title of 'heir to the true religion'.

in Jewish women in europe in the middle ages
Abstract only
Kathleen G. Cushing

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book addresses what some historians have called 'the religious revolution of the eleventh century'. It explores how reform and the papacy developed in the eleventh century, and how these changes affected the rules by which medieval society functioned. The book considers the role of the papacy as a social institution that articulated a distinctive ordering on earth and sanctioned the hegemony of the powerful over the poor while protesting against it. It looks to achieve two fundamental objectives: a deeper understanding of why the papacy developed in the way that it did during the eleventh century. Another objective include why the vision of reform that was adopted by popes from Leo IX onwards came to be articulated in the specific way that it was.

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century