Prayer was at the heart of the anchoritic vocation, as an integrated, embodied spiritual practice. Goscelin of Saint-Bertin’s Book of Consolation offers a complex and flexible model of the praying anchorite through images, exhortations, and recommended practices, reflecting the nature of reclusive prayer as a performative gesture or state. Applying the terminology of “liturgy” proposed by Jean-Yves Lacoste, this essay examines how Eve of Wilton is envisioned at prayer, and encouraged in her life of prayer. This life is inextricably connected, for Goscelin, to the eschatological vision which forms the horizon of the text: only through the embodied practice of prayer, metonymic of reclusion itself, can the transformation of the body be anticipated. Goscelin appropriates the transcendent connection between persons offered by prayer to collapse the limitations of space dividing him from Eve, and he pins his hopes for reconciliation with her on the ultimate redemption of both body and space.


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pp. 101-114
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