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REVIEWS (TC S.186S) or even "Up roos the sonne, and up roose Emelye" (KnT 2273). For those eager to pursue such matters, Burnley's book provides a useful cautionary introduction on many matters that they need to understand first. But the way remains open for a general synthesis, as well as for more specific answers to the question ofwhat constitutes the poetic in Chaucer's language. I note the following misprints: p. 119, scarecely; p. 133, acknowleding; p. 166, ponare (for ponere, or pausare?); p. 231, net (for nat?); p. 236, Anglo-Northern (for Anglo-Norman?). M. L. SAMUELS University of Glasgow CAROLINE WALKER BYNUM.Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages. Publications of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of California at Los Angeles, no. 16. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982. Pp. xiv, 279. $7.95. Jesus as Mother is a collection of four previously published and "substan­ tially rewritten" journal articles dealing with various aspects of twelfth­ century spirituality, along with a lengthy new study analyzing the imagery of a small group of women visionaries of the thirteenth century. These carefully crafted essays are supplemented by an appendix listing twelfth­ century treatises providing practical spiritual advice and, more important, a short yet compelling introduction in which the author argues for "a middle ground between the older history ofdoctrinal or mystical theology ...and the newer stress on the changing social context of religious move­ ments" (p. 6). The essays, which test this "middle ground," provide ample reason why Caroline Bynum inrecent years has become one ofthe foremost students of medieval spirituality. The first two essays, "The Spirituality ofRegular Canons in the Twelfth Century" and "The Cistercian Conception of Community," reflect By­ num's method ofapproaching specific religious communities by scrutiniz­ ing their writings for patterns of imagery that reflect their basic values, assumptions, and attitudes. Emphasizing the recurrence of verbo et ex175 STUDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER emplo, vita et doctrina in canonical texts and noting the particular use of experientia by Cistercian authors, Bynum concludes that, whereas the regularcanonsinsisted upon the individual's responsibility to edify others, the Cistercians laid primaryemphasis upon individual spiritual growth and salvation. The third essay, "Did the Twelfth Century Discover the Individual?" is perhaps the most relevant to students of medieval literature, since it raises fundamental questions about the general thesis underlining such works as Peter Dronke's Poetic Individuality in the Middle Ages (1970), Colin Morris's TheDiscovery ofthe Individual(1972), and Robert Hanning's The Individual in Twelfth-Century Romance (1977). A model of common sense and proportion, the essay suggests that what was new was not so much asenseof individualism but ofself. Bynumfurtherpointsto the new emphasisonconformingthe self to a group andthegrowingprominenceof personal models to argue that it is misleading "to place in the center of the twelfth-century religious stage the isolated individual, with his personal conversion, his inner motivation, his exuberant emotions" (p. 104). Al­ though it is unfortunate that Bynum did not tackle the qualifications urged by Morris (seejournal o/Ecc!esiastical History, 31(1980]:195-206) in his response to her earlier essay, her argument is persuasive for the religious texts that she analyzes. Bynum does not deal with secular texts, however, or with the argument advanced by Hanning that chivalric ro­ mance with its emphasis on the hero's quest develops in the twelfth century a language and psychology of individuality not yet fully evident in the­ ology and philosophy. The fourth essay, 'Jesus as Mother and Abbot as Mother: Some Themes in Twelfth-Century Cistercian Writing," is thecollection's most interesting essay and the best example of how Bynum employs "new ways of reading the material we have had all along" (p. 6) to question standard historical interpretations. Approached with a fresh eye and with new questions in mind, these rich texts provide new insights concerning not only the affective spirituality that characterizes the period but also the more prob­ lematic "feminization of religious language." Challenging the traditional understanding that this shift in religious imagery reflects shifts in attitudes toward women or that it was particularly developed for or used by women, Bynum draws attention...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1949-0755
Print ISSN
0190-2407
Pages
pp. 175-178
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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