medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Some of this seems to fit with the general trend to increasing misogyny in
the church by 1100 and the instinctive suspicion of male-female relations
typified (rather later) by Gerald of Wales's stories of the abbot of Strata
Marcella/Whitland and the censure of abbot Geoffrey of St Albans'
relationships with eg Christina of Markyate. Many of the new female
religious communities of this period of monastic revival were more or less
informal communities of women living lives of piety, sometimes under the
spiritual guidance of a charismatic male leader. Increasing suspicion of
these relationships was one of the influences which forced these
communities into accepting one of the formal monastic rules (thereby
placing themselves under stricter and more intrusive male control - but
that is another story!)

See Sally Thompson, Women religious (Oxford 1991) and Elkins, S. 1988. Holy
Women of Twelfth-Century England. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina

Dr Madeleine Gray, in the foothills of God's golden county of Gwent
(Department of Humanities and Science
UWCN Caerleon Campus
PO Box 179
Newport NP18 3YG
Tel: +44 (0)1633.432675
Gwent County History Association web site:
' "Education!" said Eyore bitterly. "What is Learning?" asked Eyore. "A
thing Rabbit knows! Ha!" '

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