Women of the Humiliati: A Lay Religious Order in Medieval Civic Life

Women of the Humiliati: A Lay Religious Order in Medieval Civic Life

Women of the Humiliati: A Lay Religious Order in Medieval Civic Life

Women of the Humiliati: A Lay Religious Order in Medieval Civic Life

Synopsis

This book examines the contribution of women to the Humiliati movement, providing original archival evidence indicating that women dominated the group's membership. These findings have implications for both women's spirituality and women's work, correcting the received opinion that the patriarchal nature of Italian society and of the church limited the institutional options available to women. It also suggests that women found innovative ways to participate in the increasingly restrictive textile industry of the region. This work provides a glimpse at the novel ways in which women in medieval Italy were able to satisfy their spiritual and economic needs within the confines of a male-dominated church and society.

Excerpt

Far from providing just a musty whiff of yesteryear, research in Medieval Studies enters the new century as fresh and vigorous as never before. Scholars representing all disciplines and generations are consistently producing works of research of the highest caliber, utilizing new approaches and methodologies. Volumes in the Medieval History and Culture series will include studies on individual works and authors of Latin and vernacular literatures, historical personalities and events, theological and philosophical issues, and new critical approaches to medieval literature and culture.

Momentous changes have occurred in Medieval Studies in the past thirty years in teaching as well as in scholarship. Thus the goal of the Medieval History and Culture series is to enhance research in the field by providing an outlet for monographs by scholars in the early stages of their careers on all topics related to the broad scope of Medieval Studies, while at the same time pointing to and highlighting new directions that will shape and define scholarly discourse in the future.

Francis G. Gentry
Pennsylvania State University

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