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way of insinuation or slander by which charity, unity, or the good name of religion in the convent may be impeded or disturbed. Also that the novices and other young nuns be diligently and religiously instructed and taught in the observances of the rule so that they may be humble in bearing, conversation, and devotion, and given to holy works. Also that the prioress or

in Women in England c. 1275–1525

6 The emergence of devotion to the name of Jesus in the West Denis Renevey Used on its own, ‘Jesus’ is not a term of address frequently used in the Bible. As it is a common name among Jews, it is necessary for the Gospel writers to address ‘Jesus’ by either adding his origin, ‘of Nazareth’, or to attribute some of his specific titles, such as ‘Lord’, ‘Saviour’, ‘Son of God’. In fact, the name ‘Jesus’ on its own, sometimes accompanied by a special title, is used as a direct form of address only by demons and people outside the circle of Jesus’s direct disciples

in Aspects of knowledge
Affective piety in the eleventh-century monastery of John of Fécamp
Series: Artes Liberales

Scholars of the Middle Ages have long taught that highly emotional Christian devotion, often called ‘affective piety’, originated in Europe after the twelfth century, and was primarily practised by late medieval communities of mendicants, lay people, and women. As the first study of affective piety in an eleventh-century monastic context, this book revises our understanding of affective spirituality’s origins, characteristics, and uses in medieval Christianity.

Emotional monasticism: Affective piety at the eleventh-century monastery of John of Fécamp traces the early monastic history of affective devotion through the life and works of the earliest-known writer of emotional prayers, John of Fécamp, abbot of the Norman monastery of Fécamp from 1028 to 1078. The book examines John’s major work, the Confessio theologica; John’s early influences and educational background in Ravenna and Dijon; the emotion-filled devotional programme of Fécamp’s liturgical, manuscript, and intellectual culture, and its relation to the monastery’s efforts at reform; the cultivation of affective principles in the monastery’s work beyond the monastery’s walls; and John’s later medieval legacy at Fécamp, throughout Normandy, and beyond. Emotional monasticism will appeal to scholars of monasticism, of the history of emotion, and of medieval Christianity. The book exposes the early medieval monastic roots of later medieval affective piety, re-examines the importance of John of Fécamp’s prayers for the first time since his work was discovered, casts a new light on the devotional life of monks in medieval Europe before the twelfth century, and redefines how we should understand the history of Christianity.

Irish Women and the Creation of Modern Catholicism is the only book-length study of lay Catholic women in modern Irish history. Focusing on the pivotal century from 1850 to 1950, it analyses the roles that middle-class, working-class, and rural poor lay women played in the evolution of Irish Catholicism and thus the creation of modern Irish identities. This project demonstrates that in an age of Church growth and renewal stretching from the aftermath of the Great Famine through the early years of the Irish Republic, lay women were essential to all aspects of Catholic devotional life, including both home-based religion and public Catholic rituals. It also reveals that women, by rejecting, negotiating, and reworking Church dictates, complicated Church and clerical authority. Irish Women and the Creation of Modern Catholicism re-evaluates the relationship between the institutional Church, the clergy, and women, positioning lay Catholic women as central actors in the making of modern Ireland. It also contests views that the increasing power of the Catholic Church caused a uniform decline in Irish women’s status after the Great Famine of the 1840s, revealing that middle-class, working-class, and rural poor lay women fought with their priests, dominated household religion, and led parish rituals, thus proving integral to the development of a modern Irish Catholic ethos and culture.

Documentary sources

This book demonstrates that the discussion of non-aristocratic women can be securely grounded in archival documentation. It explores, with sensitivity and sophistication, the relationship between the picture which emerges from such sources and the literary and theological perceptions of womankind. The book provides a collection of documentary material, much of it previously unpublished, and guides the reader in the techniques needed to glean rich evidence of contemporary behaviour and assumptions from what can seem, at first sight, unpromisingly austere sources. It also demonstrates the variety of evidence that survives of English women in all walks of life from the time of Edward I to the eve of the Reformation. The book then provides substantial overview of current thinking about English medieval women below the level of the greater aristocracy. It also explores the life-cycle themes of childhood, adolescence, married life, widowhood and old age. The book then moves on to examine such topics as work in town and country, prostitution, the law, recreation and devotion. There is an element of caprice and artificiality in trying to divide the lives of medieval women under particular heads. This is especially true of the label 'devotion'. The culture of later medieval England was a Christian culture and Christian ideology permeated every aspect of life. The book recovers the experience of ordinary medieval women.

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A lived religious history of English Catholicism, 1945–82

Drawing upon a multi-disciplinary methodology employing diverse written sources, material practices and vivid life histories, Faith in the Family seeks to assess the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the ordinary believer, alongside contemporaneous shifts in British society relating to social mobility, the sixties, sexual morality, and secularisation. Chapters examine the changes in the Roman Catholic liturgy and Christology, devotion to Mary, the rosary and the place of women in the family and church, as well as the enduring (but shifting) popularity of Saints Bernadette and Thérèse.

Appealing to students of modern British gender and cultural history, as well as a general readership interested in religious life in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century, Faith in the Family illustrates that despite unmistakable differences in their cultural accoutrements and interpretations of Catholicism, English Catholics continued to identify with and practise the ‘Faith of Our Fathers’ before and after Vatican II.

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affective piety was. Devotional interiority was indeed felt while living in monastic community – no solitary retreat into the wilderness was needed. Heartfelt tears and the suffering Christ were in fact tools valued by monks in the early eleventh century. Prayer was felt even more deeply by Benedictine abbots when it was an active, regular escape from the distractions of the secular world. Emotional devotion was undeniably practised and even modelled by men and male authors, not just by compassionate women. Affective devotions were performed with the words and phrases of

in Emotional monasticism

The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building, idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English texts.

The monastic roots of affective piety

programme developed by John of Fécamp. As we have seen in proceeding chapters, blood figures prominently in John’s Confessio theologica ’s prescriptions for how its reader might move beyond exterior practices of devotion and cultivate the right ‘interior sense of [his] soul’. 35 For John, the blood of Christ is the key point of divine access for the sinner: ‘It is by [Christ’s] blood that we have access to [God], both in one spirit.’ 36 John believes that the blood of Christ grants the sinner access to God in three different ways. First, the

in Emotional monasticism
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misattribution is understandable. First, the prayer was transmitted with the Pseudo-Augustinian collection of the Meditations of St Augustine , which enjoyed a formidable circulation in the Late Middle Ages. 3 Second, the prayer approaches God in a way commonly associated with late medieval devotion to the crucified Christ: a more human God, suffering on the cross, body wounded and bloody. 4 The dramatic presentation of the crucified body was typical of late medieval Christian prayer, as was the tearful compassion prescribed. 5 As a result, this prayer has been regularly

in Emotional monasticism