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Gender, authority, and monastic work Holy Cross in Brunswick, c. 1500

Hotchin, Julie (2018) Gender, authority, and monastic work Holy Cross in Brunswick, c. 1500. In: Women and Work in Premodern Europe Experiences, Relationships and Cultural Representation, c. 1100-1800. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 144-168. ISBN 9781138202023

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Abstract

This chapter examines the negotiation of gender and authority in the governance of a women’s monastery in late medieval Germany. Arrangements for the direction of female monasteries reflected gendered assumptions about governance as a primarily masculine preserve, as religious women relied upon clerical officials to provide various spiritual and material services. The nuns of the Cistercian monastery of Holy Cross, near Brunswick, jointly managed the spiritual and economic affairs of their monastery with a senior cleric, the provost. The Konventstagebuch or ‘convent diary’, a narrative of convent life written by an anonymous nun from Holy Cross in the final decades of the fifteenth century, offers glimpses into the inner workings of convent life and how the interdependent responsibilities of successive abbesses and their provosts were negotiated in practice. By focusing attention into how these senior monastic officials worked together, or in tension, this chapter examines the scope for and limitations of female authority within the institutional structures of joint monastic governance.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: religious women, monasticism, gender, authority, governance
Fields of Research: 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210307 European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman)
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950504 Understanding Europe's Past
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Church History
College/Association with University of Divinity: YTU: Yarra Theological Union
Depositing User: Ms Julie Hotchin
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2018 23:32
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2018 23:32
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3325

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