Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia: A Study of Manuscript Transmission and Monastic Culture
Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia: A Study of Manuscript Transmission and Monastic Culture  -     By: Felice Lifshitz
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Oxford University Press / 2014 / Hardcover

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Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia: A Study of Manuscript Transmission and Monastic Culture

Oxford University Press / 2014 / Hardcover

In Stock
Stock No: WW256877

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Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0823256871
ISBN-13: 9780823256877

Publisher's Description

Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia, a groundbreaking study of the intellectual and monastic culture of the Main Valley during the eighth century, looks closely at a group of manuscripts associated with some of the best-known personalities of the European Middle Ages, including Boniface of Mainz and his "beloved,"abbess Leoba of Tauberbischofsheim. This is the first study of these "Anglo-Saxon missionaries to Germany" to delve into the details of their lives by studying the manuscripts that were produced in their scriptoria and used in their communities. The author explores how one group of religious women helped to shape the culture of medieval Europe through the texts they wrote and copied, as well as through their editorial interventions.

Using compelling manuscript evidence, she argues that the content of the women's books was overwhelmingly gender-egalitarian and frequently feminist (i.e., resistant to patriarchal ideas). This intriguing book provides unprecedented glimpses into the "feminist consciousness" of the women's and mixed-sex communities that flourished in the early Middle Ages.

Author Bio

Felice Lifshitz is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and of Religious Studies at the University of Alberta.

Editorial Reviews

"Erudite, intellectually rigorous, and well-researched, Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia offers a more detailed study of religious women in eighth-century Francia in greater depth than anyone else has heretofore published."-Valerie L. Garver, Northern Illinois University

"In this pathbreaking book, Felice Lifshitz gives us a magisterial reexamination of the place of women in the early medieval Chritianity. Through an innovative and convincing analysis of a range of manuscripts produced by and for Frankish religious women, she shows us how the Christian culture and intellectual life of the eighth century were gender-egalitarian and even 'feminist' in the sense of a resistance to patriarchal ideas. An exciting book for medievalists, but also for anyone interested in the history of gender relations over the centuries."--Anne-Marie Helvetius, Professor of Medieval History, University of Paris VIII--Vincennes--Saint-Denis.

"Lifshitz has written an interesting book in which she presents new perspectives and scenarios on an ongoing debate."--TMR: The Medieval Review

"Lifshitz's endeavor to map a cultural and intellectual world and explore a collective
identity on the basis of a limited--yet unique--set of sources not only forms an important contribution to feminist scholarship but also creates a model for other manuscript-based explorations of collective identities. This is a splendid book."--Albrecht Diem, Catholic Historical Review

"I highly recommend Religious Women to scholars and advanced students working in the fields of church history, women's history, palaeography and early medieval history more broadly. Certain chapters, such as 'I am Crucified in Christ', would work beautifully in a course on women and Christianity and would spark lively debate as, no doubt, this book will continue to do."-Linda Coon, Gender & History

"An important addition to our knowledge of women's participation in the transmission and editing of religious texts."-American Historical Review

"Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia is an important book, not only affirming its subjects' agency but also demonstrating the force of delicate tools-paleographical precision, exposition of visual detail, minute attention to a small group of texts-in shaping a broad interpretation of medieval people's self-understanding."-Speculum

"Lifshitz's ability to engage with a variety of textual genres presents the monastic libraries of Karlburg and Kitzingen in full, giving the reader a tangible sense of the texts that were read and re-read in many monastic communities. She has made a valuable contribution to Carolingian manuscript studies and gender history, and it can only be hoped that this book will encourage further combinations of the two disciplines in the future."-English Historical Review

"Analysing eighth-century manuscripts which can be traced to the Main River Valley in Francia (Germany), Felice Lifshitz finds traces of editorial decisions which suggest female involvement. The cumulative effect of these creative and editing choices offer tantalising glimpses into a network of educated and intellectual women who influenced later thought. The argument is convincing and clearly explicated at each stage of the book."-Eras Journal

"Whether specialists or not, readers will find in this study a stimulating exposition of the cultural achievements of early medieval consecrated women, important insights into Carolingian reform's attempt to suppress an alternative tradition of a gender egalitarian church, and a persuasive case for the existence of feminism in the early Middle Ages."--The Historian

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