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Altera Magdalena? Clare as Sposa Chrisi and Mirror Imagery in a German Fifteenth-Century Life of St Clare.

Renkin, Claire (2010) Altera Magdalena? Clare as Sposa Chrisi and Mirror Imagery in a German Fifteenth-Century Life of St Clare. In: Interpreting Francis and Clare of Assisi. Broughton Publishin, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 255-270. ISBN 978-0-9806634-6-4


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The importance of St Clare of Assisi in the history both of Franciscan spirituality and women's religious life is widely acknowledged today by her admirers and by scholars. However, when we turn to the historical record of Clare we find a surprising paucity of written documents securely attributed to her. The fact that several of these manuscripts survive only in relatively late copies raises further questions for today's researchers. What does this failure to preserve Clare's writings reveal about her followers' attempts to interpret or in some cases re-discover Clare's vision of a religious way of life for women? Likewise in visual culture Clare appears much less frequently than Francis or even other Franciscan saints. The scarcity of images of Clare makes a cycle of her life created in the late fifteenth cnetury all the more precious as a record of her cult. Moreover, this visualising of her life in an illuuminated manuscript offers us a tantalising glimplse of how female saintly identity was constructed in the late Middle Ages and of how late medieval Clarissans might have responded to that construction.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Clare of Assisi, Thennenbach 4, Life of St Clare
Fields of Research: 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 > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Church History
College/Association with University of Divinity: YTU: Yarra Theological Union
Depositing User: Cate Headey
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 00:16
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2014 00:39
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/741

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