From the Back Cover
Dhuoda of Septimania was a remarkable Carolingian aristocrat who wrote a Liber Manualis of biblically based practical directions for her at times wayward warrior son. Her method of interpreting the Bible is of special interest. The meaning of the ancient Old Testament texts opened up for her not through allegory, as it did for Origen, but through a sense of experience shared across the centuries. The tales of the religious experiences of Israel were seen by her as family experiences, involving a sense of genuine continuity. Or, from another direction, she used the concrete experiences of her life to find a special meaning in the biblical text. Mayeski explores this approach in considerable detail through Dhuoda's interpretation of the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman in Matthew 15:21-25 and Mark 7:24-30. Interpreting it for her son, she speaks of the encouragement that can be found there in the way that God supplies the food of grace to those who persist in seeking it. She also uses the beatitudes as an outline of a treatise on her son's responsibilities as a member of the ruling class. Underlying her practical bent is the vision of human life as a journey toward the kingdom of God, with its need for alertness and its sense of motion.
About the Author
Marie Anne Mayeski is professor emerita of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Having written extensively on Aelred and his Cistercian context and on medieval women and their contributions to church, society, and theological developments, she has published three books: "Women: Models of Liberation" (Sheed and Ward), "Dhuoda: Ninth Century Mother and Theologian" (University of Scranton Press), and "Women at the Table" (Liturgical Press).