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In Dark Age Nunneries, Steven Vanderputten dismantles the common view of women religious between 800 and 1050 as disempowered or even disinterested witnesses to their own lives. It is based on a study of primary sources from forty female monastic communities in Lotharingia—a politically and culturally diverse region that boasted an extraordinarily high number of such institutions. Vanderputten highlights the attempts by women religious and their leaders, as well as the clerics and the laymen and -women sympathetic to their cause, to construct localized narratives of self, preserve or expand their agency as religious communities, and remain involved in shaping the attitudes and behaviors of the laity amid changing contexts and expectations on the part of the Church and secular authorities.

Rather than a "dark age" in which female monasticism withered under such factors as the assertion of male religious authority, the secularization of its institutions, and the precipitous decline of their intellectual and spiritual life, Vanderputten finds that the post-Carolingian period witnessed a remarkable adaptability among these women. Through texts, objects, archaeological remains, and iconography, Dark Age Nunneries offers scholars of religion, medieval history, and gender studies new ways to understand the experience of women of faith within the Church and across society during this era.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. 1. Setting the Boundaries for Legitimate Experimentation
  2. pp. 11-36
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  1. 2. Holy Vessels, Brides of Christ: Ambiguous Ninth-Century Realities
  2. pp. 37-64
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  1. 3. Transitions, Continuities, and the Struggle for Monastic Lordship
  2. pp. 65-87
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  1. 4. Reforms, Semi-Reforms, and the Silencing of Women Religious in the Tenth Century
  2. pp. 88-110
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  1. 5. New Beginnings
  2. pp. 111-134
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  1. 6. Monastic Ambiguities in the New Millennium
  2. pp. 135-154
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 155-158
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  1. Appendix A: The Leadership and Members of Female Religious Communities in Lotharingia, 816–1059
  2. pp. 159-166
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  1. Appendix B: The Decrees on Women Religious from the Acts of the Synod of Chalon-sur-Saône, 813, and the Council of Mainz, 847
  2. pp. 167-171
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  1. Appendix C: Jacques de Guise’s Account of the Attempted Reform of Nivelles and Other Female Institutions in the Early Ninth Century
  2. pp. 172-175
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  1. Appendix D: The Compilation on the Roll of Maubeuge, c. Early Eleventh Century
  2. pp. 176-182
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  1. Appendix E: Letter by Abbess Thiathildis of Remiremont to Emperor Louis the Pious, c. 820s–840
  2. pp. 183-184
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  1. Appendix F: John of Gorze’s Encounter with Geisa, c. 920s–930s
  2. pp. 185-188
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  1. Appendix G: Extract on Women Religious from the Protocol of the Synod of Rome (1059)
  2. pp. 189-191
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  1. Appendix H: The Eviction of the Religious of Pfalzel as Recounted in the Gesta Treverorum, 1016
  2. pp. 192-194
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  1. Appendix I: The Life of Ansoaldis, Abbess of Maubeuge (d. 1050)
  2. pp. 195-197
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  1. Appendix J: Letter by Pope Paschalis II to Abbess Ogiva of Messines (1107)
  2. pp. 198-200
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 201-254
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 255-300
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 301-309
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781501715976
Related ISBN
9781501715969
MARC Record
OCLC
1001968627
Pages
330
Launched on MUSE
2018-04-10
Language
English
Open Access
No
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