Religious Life in Normandy, 1050-1300

Religious Life in Normandy, 1050-1300

Space, Gender and Social Pressure

Leonie V. Hicks


Boydell Press



`A vivid and absorbing picture both of the internal workings of religious houses in Normandy and their interactions with a wider society.' Professor ANN WILLIAMS
The religious life was central to Norman society in the middle ages. Professed religious and the clergy did not and could not live in isolation; the support of the laity was vital to their existence. How these different groups used sacred space was central to this relationship.

Here, fascinating new light is shed on the reality of religious life in Normandy. The author uses ideas about space and gender to examine the social pressures arising from such interaction around four main themes: display, reception and intrusion, enclosure and the family. The study is grounded in the discussion of a wide range of sources, including architecture, chronicles and visitation records, from communities of monks and nuns, hospitals and the parish, allowing the people, rather than the institutions, to come to the fore.

Dr LEONIE V. HICKS teaches at the University of Southampton

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November 2007
3 line illustrations
254 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in the History of Medieval Religion
ISBN: 9781843833291
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Reception and Intrusion


This very careful and painstaking look at religious life within the context of sacred space and interrelationships opens up a wide view of medieval monasticism. AMERICAN BENEDICTINE REVIEW
This is a welcome addition to a trend of research on medieval religious culture that uses subjectivist categories like gender, the body and space to reinterpret sources traditionally studied from an institutional perspective. [...] This book is original in its conceptual approach and unfussily interdisciplinary, and it includes three invaluable appendices profiling the religious institutions of Normandy. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY
Hicks seeks admirably to show another side of medieval religious institutions, particularly the way they structure relationships and inform interactions. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW
An] interesting and well researched book. HISTORY OF WOMEN RELIGIOUS, July 2008

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