Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Handmaids of the Lord: Contemporary Descriptions of Feminine Asceticism in the First Six Centuries

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Handmaids of the Lord: Contemporary Descriptions of Feminine Asceticism in the First Six Centuries

Article excerpt

Handmaids of the Lord: Contemporary Descriptions of Feminine Asceticism in the First Six Centuries Translated and edited by Joan M. Petersen. [Cistercian Studies Series: 143.] (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, Inc. 1996. Pp. 441.)

This anthology, appearing after the editor's death, seems intended especially for church audiences. Dissociating early female asceticism from recent feminist interests, Petersen interprets it in ways that link it to twentieth-century church practice. For the most part, Petersen assumes that the texts faithfully represent "real" women.

Translations of four sets of texts are preceded by an eighteen-page introduction on female monasticism in the first six Christian centuries. The texts selected by Petersen are Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Saint Macrina-,several of the letters of Jerome to and about his ascetic female friends; texts on Melania the Elder and Melania the Younger, including Gerontius' Life of Melania the Younger, and materials pertaining to the life and death of Radegunde by Venantins Fortunatus, the nun Baudonivia, and Gregory of Tours. Peterson uses S. L. Greenslade's translations of Jerome's epp. 10-17 and 108, and his Introduction to Jerome,from his volume,Fari Latin Theology (1956); otherwise,she has translated the materials herself Each section/subsection is preceded by a short introduction that places the people and events of the text in historical and religious perspective. …

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.