"A Pernicious Sort of Woman": Quasi-Religious Women and by Elizabeth Makowski

Women In History

By Elizabeth Makowski

WINNER OF THE 2007 heritage of girls spiritual exceptional publication AWARD

Whether they have been secular canonesses or beguines, tertiaries or Sisters of the typical existence, quasi-religious girls within the later center a long time lived their lives opposed to a backdrop of fight and lack of confidence ensuing, in huge degree, from their ambivalent criminal prestige. simply because they lacked a number of of the canonical earmarks of spiritual girls strictly talking, they'd to justify their unauthorized lifestyle and to shield themselves opposed to organization with those that were branded unorthodox, unruly, or maybe heretical. Ambiguous criminal prestige in the prepared Church and the contests to which it gave upward thrust are a continuing subject within the historiography of quasi-religious ladies, but there was no full-scale examine of what it intended at legislation to be a mulier religiosa.

This publication presents a radical exam of the writings of canon legal professionals within the overdue center a long time as they arrive to phrases, either of their educational paintings and likewise of their roles as judges and advisers, with ladies who weren't, strictly talking, non secular, yet who have been popularly considered such. It experiences the ways that jurists strove to categorize those ladies and to explain the occasionally ambivalent canons with regards to their lives in the neighborhood. It assesses, between different issues, the level to which attorneys proved aware of renowned in addition to realized notions of what constituted non secular lifestyles for girls while the pursuits of specific consumers have been at stake.

"A Pernicious type of Woman" could be an invaluable complement to books dedicated to person quasi-religious ladies or to precise manifestations of woman lay piety. it will likely be of curiosity to historians of Christianity and experts within the legislations and women's stories in addition to an individual drawn to the historical past of spiritual women.


Elizabeth Makowski is affiliate Professor of historical past at Texas country collage. She is the writer of Canon legislation and Cloistered Women and coauthor of Wykked Wyves and the Woes of Marriage.


"This e-book may also help make clear the context during which ladies built their kinds of spiritual existence and be of use to historians and people who learn specific ladies or groups that have been attempting to continue to exist in [the later center Ages]."―Magistra

"This e-book is a helpful follow-up to the author's first-class monograph Canon legislation and Cloistered Women. . . . there isn't any doubt that A Pernicious kind of Woman is a prime e-book. Makowski's tale of the formula, reception, and use of the Clementine decrees on quasi-religious girls is a version of the way the missed, 'elephantine literature' of Fourteenth- and Fifteenth-century canon legislation could be tamed and placed to solid use. Makowski aimed toward a large scholarly viewers and her booklet hits the mark: a reader blind to canon legislation could take with no consideration the lucid summaries of texts that may be relatively intractable. these specialist in ecclesiastical legislations will take pleasure in this success all of the extra, yet also needs to be pleased about the way in which Makowski easily built-in such technical fabric with one of many sizzling subject matters of medieval historiography this day: past due medieval women's religiosity."―Patrick Nold, Ecclesiastical legislation Journal

"Elizabeth Makowski brilliantly is sensible of the incongruities among canon law's expanding 'crack-down' on spiritual ladies of every kind and the reality of accelerating numbers of overdue medieval quasi-religious girls. In so doing she has written a necessary ebook for all these embarking at the learn of medieval non secular ladies, at the heritage of canon legislations, and at the historical past of these past due medieval cities and areas that started to persecute beguines and different non secular ladies. the significance of this research is threefold: it constitutes a priceless advent to the paintings

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He substituted a restrictive reading 267, ad verbum: Monita, non dicit suspensionem nunquid illam ergo servare tenentur. 29. Ibid. tenendum est igitur secundum Hostiensis quod saltem ab offici suspendere non potest, ut in gl. l. l. As ultimate support for his position, Johannes has recourse to the creation story attesting to the inferior status of woman qua woman: Eva processerit ab Adam et sic ipsa non est imago Dei in creatione. 30. Ibid. idem de quolibet converso vel conversa ecclesiae secularis scilicet quod contrahere potest, nec gaudet immunitate canonis, si quis suadente, secus in conversis religiosorum.

V. l. ” The rule of law cited is regula XIV: Is, qui tacet, non fatetur; sed nec utique negare videtur. 20 Academic Commentary ensure the durability of this point of view. And although other canonists who commented on Attendentes after the publication of the glossa ordinaria were less expansive than Cardinal Zabarella, they seldom failed to reproduce the by-now standard opinion about secular canonesses. 39 Having achieved prominence as a judge in the papal court known as the Rota, Stephanus served as chancellor to the papal legate to Lombardy from 1320 to 1330.

8 It is within this context of renewed clerical criticism of certain features of female canonical life—criticism that stopped short of becoming blanket condemnation of an aristocratic tradition—that we must place the Clementine decree Attendentes. Along with several other canons of the Council of Vienne, this constitution reflects continuing efforts to renew and reform monastic life. ” Provisions regarding the office of abbess are followed by instructions about the number and nature of the visitor’s entourage, and the decree concludes with a warning directed at those who would dare to interfere with any aspect of ordinary visitation.

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