Gender and Text in the Later Middle Ages

By Jane Chance | Go to book overview

7
A Very Material Mysticism: The Medieval Mysticism of Margery Kempe

Sarah Beckwith

To the precise degree that the absolute is made to approximate to the finite, the finite is absolutized.

( Adorno, 177)

As negative to the man, woman becomes a total object of fantasy (or an object of total fantasy), elevated into the place of the Other and made to stand for its truth. Since the place of the Other is also the place of God, this is the ultimate form of mystification.

( Rose, 50)

One of the crucial areas opened up by recent developments of critical theory has been the feminist analysis of the imaging, construction, and articulation of sexual difference. Frequently this has taken the form of how women are articulated as "feminine," and what positions are available for them to adopt in a patriarchal society that constitutes woman as Other.1

One of the first extant written records in England by a woman must therefore merit analysis, and it is interesting that the Book of Margery Kempe ( 1438), which has been dubbed the first autobiography in England, one which is therefore jointly concerned with the construction of femininity and subjectivity, should also have been produced within the context of medieval mystical Christianity. For if medieval Christianity was so instrumental in the construction and relegation of woman to the place of Other (a construction seen clearly in the traditional polarization of Eve and Mary as impure flesh and pure soul), it was also the endeavour of the mystical aspect of Christianity to articulate the Otherness of God himself. Female mysticism in the late Middle Ages, which has recently been described by one feminist theorist as the "only place in Western history where woman speaks and acts in such a public way" ( Irigaray, 238), is therefore an area

-195-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Gender and Text in the Later Middle Ages
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 342

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.