The Virgin Speaks


in Saints' Lives and Women's Literary Culture, 1150-1300

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780198112792
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191707599 | DOI:
The Virgin Speaks

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This chapter considers theological issues in hagiography and argues for women's composition in the genre as a mode of theological practice. It considers the response of Clemence of Barking to Anselmian soteriology in her Life of St. Catherine and her use of a pagan role model, the Sibyl, as a legitimating didactic and prophetic female voice. It looks at how far female audiences could systematically study, debate, and place the doctrinal implications of saints' lives. It also considers whether insular culture is really as deprived in regard to women visionaries as is often suggested.

Keywords: hagiography; Clemence of Barking; Life of St. Catherine; women's composition; Anselmian soteriology

Chapter.  18991 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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