Academic journal article Magistra

Forgetful of Their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society

Academic journal article Magistra

Forgetful of Their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society

Article excerpt

Schulenburg, Jane Tibbetts.

CA 500-1100 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998) 587 pages, cloth $40, ISBN 0-226-74054-4.

Saints are made. A theology of salvation and redemption aside, the "who and how" of the making of saints has political and economic ramifications, even in the present day. With the making of a saint, power bases shift. Whom we declare as saints also reveals something of our economic and political agendas as well as the hopes and aspirations of the faithful.

Schulenburg presents an intriguing study of women's history, social status and life experience through the mulieres sanctae in early medieval society. Gently sifting through an extraordinary amount of primary material on 2,200 saints, Schulenburg analyzes these texts with sensitivity and keen insight. She explores the major contributing factors involved in the making of saints, what motivated a monastery or family to pursue this process and the resulting impact. Schulenburg's precise critical thinking is evident as she probes the political and cultural context that produced these texts as well as her illumination of the rhetorical meaning of these lives. …

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