Women and Devotional Literature in the Middle Ages
Title Details

332 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

8 b/w illus.

Series: Gender in the Middle Ages

Series Vol. Number: 21

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

Women and Devotional Literature in the Middle Ages

Giving Voice to Silence. Essays in Honour of Catherine Innes-Parker

Edited by Cate Gunn, Liz Herbert McAvoy and Naoë Kukita Yoshikawa

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Essays on women and devotional literature in the Middle Ages in commemoration and celebration of the respected feminist scholar Catherine Innes-Parker.

Silence was a much-lauded concept in the Middle Ages, particularly in the context of religious literature directed at women. Based on the Pauline prescription that women should neither preach nor teach, and should at all times keep speech to a minimum, the concept of silence lay at the forefront of many devotional texts, particularly those associated with various forms of women's religious enclosure. Following the example of the Virgin Mary, religious women were exhorted to speak seldom, and then only seriously and devoutly. However, as this volume shows, such gendered exhortations to silence were often more rhetorical than literal. The contributions range widely: they consider the English 'Wooing Group' texts and female-authored visionary writings from the Saxon nunnery of Helfta in the thirteenth century; works by Richard Rolle and the Dutch mystic Jan van Ruusbroec in the fourteenth century; Anglo-French treatises, and books housed in the library of the English noblewoman Cecily Neville in the fifteenth century; and the resonant poetics of women from non-Christian cultures. But all demonstrate the ways in which silence, rather than being a mere absence of speech, frequently comprised a form of gendered articulation and proto-feminist point of resistance. They thus provide an apt commemoration and celebration of the deeply innovative work of Catherine Innes-Parker (1956-2019), the respected feminist scholar and a pioneer of this important field of study.
Preface: Tributes to Catherine Innes-Parker by Shannon Murray and Anne Savage

Introduction: Speaking of Past and Present: Giving Voice to Silence - CATE GUNN, LIZ HERBERT MCAVOY and NAOË KUKITA YOSHIKAWA

PART I: THE WOOING GROUP: SILENCE AND ARTICULATION
Voicing the Creed in On Lofsong of ure Louerde - ANNIE SUTHERLAND
Breath Courting Silence in The Wohunge of Ure Lauerd - DENIS RENEVEY
Of Loves Both Spoken and Silent: Rābiʿa al-ʿAdawiyya and the Wooing Group - AYOUSH LAZIKANI

PART II: DEVOTIONAL TEXTS AND THEIR INTERTEXTS
Sourcing a Critical Edition of A Talkyng of the Loue of God - MARGARET HEALY-VARLEY
Speaking beyond the Anchorhold in Richard Rolle's Form of Living - JENNIFER N. BROWN
'Speech is silver, silence gold': Enclosure and Silence in Late Medieval Texts for Religious Women - ANNE MOURON
Arboreal Articulation: The Testimony of Trees in the Late-Medieval Religious Imaginary - LIZ HERBERT MCAVOY

PART III: HEARING AND SPEAKING: UNCOVERING THE FEMALE READER
Vernacular Textuality in Thirteenth-Century England: The Ancrene Wisse Group Recontextualized - NICHOLAS WATSON
Not So Silent After All: Women Intellectuals and Readers in Medieval Oxford - KATHRYN KERBY-FULTON
A Ladder for Sisters - MICHAEL SARGENT

PART IV: MANUSCRIPTS SPEAKING ACROSS BORDERS
Silence, Sources and Medieval Women: From Alien Bride to Spiritual Director - JOCELYN WOGAN-BROWNE
Anchoritic Interplay between Jan van Ruusbroec's The Spiritual Espousals and its Contributions to The Chastising of God's Children - MICHELLE M. SAUER
Cecily Neville's Devotional Library: Networks of Readers and Models of Female Piety - NAOË KUKITA YOSHIKAWA

Envoi: 'Þis seli stilðe': Silence and Stillness in the Anchorhold: Lessons for the Modern World? - CATE GUNN

Bibliography of the Writings of Catherine Innes-Parker
Index
Tabula in Memoriam

CATE GUNN is an independent scholar who has written on thirteenth-century anchoritic and pastoral literature.

LIZ HERBERT MCAVOY FLSW is Professor Emerita of Medieval Literature at Swansea University and Honorary Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol.

NAOË KUKITA YOSHIKAWA is Professor Emerita of Medieval English Literature at Shizuoka University, and Research Fellow at the Center for Medieval English Literary Text Studies, Meiji University, Japan.

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Title Details

332 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

8 b/w illus.

Series: Gender in the Middle Ages

Series Vol. Number: 21

Imprint: D.S.Brewer