Medieval Women Monastics makes women's monastic tradition come alive in uniquely gifted women of prayer and action. It presents in English the rich monastic legacy of women religious by gathering the life stories of outstanding medieval women monastics.
Written by eighteen contemporary Benedictine women authors from thirteen religious communities in the United States, England, and Australia, this work tells of the surprisingly varied accomplishments of medieval fore sisters, most of whom are rarely acknowledged by historians for their wisdom and contributions to their culture.
Originating with Scholastica of Nursia (sixth century) and concluding with Gertrude More of Cambrai (seventeenth century), this book presents accounts of the multi-talented nuns and canonesses who helped Christianize Europe across twelve centuries. The focus in this volume is primarily on the Anglo-Saxon, Austrian, and Germanic monastic women since many American monasteries originated through the Abbeys of Wimborne, Nonnberg, and EichstSett.
Each chapter provides a brief biographical interpretation of a particular woman monastic, a synopsis of her spirituality, and a summary of her significance for the contemporary Church, society, and the global world. The women included are St. Scholastica of Nursia, St. Hilda of Whitby, St. Frideswide of Oxford, St. Erentrude of Nonnberg, St. Walburga of EichstSett, St. Leoba of Bischofsheim, St. Thecla of Kitzingen, St. Irmengard of Chiemsee, Hrotsvit of Ganderscheim, the Holy Hildegard of Bingen, St. Elisabeth of Schönau, Herrad of Hohenbourg, St. Lutgard of Aywières, Mechtild of Magdeburg, St. Mechtild of Hackeborn, St. Gertrud the Great of Helfta, and Gertrude More of Cambrai.