Academic journal article Magistra

Sacred Communities, Shared Devotions: Gender, Material Culture, and Monasticism in Late Medieval Germany

Academic journal article Magistra

Sacred Communities, Shared Devotions: Gender, Material Culture, and Monasticism in Late Medieval Germany

Article excerpt

Sacred Communities, Shared Devotions: Gender, Material Culture, and Monasticism in Late Medieval Germany, by June L. Mecham, edited by Alison I. Beach, Constance H Berman, and Lisa M. Bitel, with an introduction by Lisa M. Bitel. Brepols Publishers, 2014, 307 pp., $123, ISBN 978-2-503-54134-1.

June Mecham died before this manuscript was completed. Alison Beach, Constance Berman, and Lisa Bitel (Mecham's dissertation advisor) graciously completed this task to make available Mecham's extensive research on monastic women in the Lüneburg Heath region in Lower Saxony in the Middle Ages. Assuming another's research and rough draft in order to bring it to completion is no small task.

Over 100 monastic communities - Premonstratensian, Augustinian, Benedictine and Cistercian - had been established from the late ninth centuries to the fifteenth centuries and the Lutheran Reformation. Mecham focused her research on six of these communities: 3 Benedictine communities (Wallsrode, Ebstorf and Lüne) and 3 Cistercian communities (Isenhagen, Medingen, and Wienhausen) that shared regional, social, economic and monastic networks. Mecham's research focused on surviving records of textual production, material culture, liturgy, private pietistic devotions, economic realities (nuns were business women, of course, managing their own wealth), and the effects of the Devotio Moderna movement on the religious practices of the nuns.

Mecham demonstrates that the boundaries between the monastic enclosure and their lay neighbors were porous; the nuns had influence on, and shared devotional practices with, neighboring women. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.