By Elizabeth Makowski

WINNER OF THE 2007 background of ladies non secular amazing publication AWARD

Whether they have been secular canonesses or beguines, tertiaries or Sisters of the typical existence, quasi-religious ladies 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 felony prestige. simply because they lacked a number of of the canonical earmarks of spiritual girls strictly conversing, that they had to justify their unauthorized lifestyle and to guard themselves opposed to organization with those that have been branded unorthodox, unruly, or maybe heretical. Ambiguous criminal prestige in the equipped Church and the contests to which it gave upward thrust are a relentless subject matter within the historiography of quasi-religious ladies, but there was no full-scale research of what it intended at legislations to be a mulier religiosa.

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

"A Pernicious kind of Woman" should be an invaluable complement to books dedicated to person quasi-religious girls or to precise manifestations of girl lay piety. will probably be of curiosity to historians of Christianity and experts within the legislation and women's reports in addition to a person drawn to the historical past of non secular women.


Elizabeth Makowski is affiliate Professor of historical past at Texas nation college. She is the writer of Canon legislations and Cloistered Women and coauthor of Wykked Wyves and the Woes of Marriage.


"This booklet will help make clear the context within which ladies built their varieties of spiritual existence and be of use to historians and those that research specific ladies or groups that have been attempting to live on in [the later heart Ages]."―Magistra

"This e-book is a helpful follow-up to the author's very good monograph Canon legislations and Cloistered Women. . . . there is not any doubt that A Pernicious kind of Woman is a primary e-book. Makowski's tale of the formula, reception, and use of the Clementine decrees on quasi-religious ladies is a version of ways the ignored, 'elephantine literature' of Fourteenth- and Fifteenth-century canon legislations may be tamed and positioned to solid use. Makowski geared toward a large scholarly viewers and her e-book hits the mark: a reader blind to canon legislations might take with no consideration the lucid summaries of texts that may be relatively intractable. these professional in ecclesiastical legislations will savor this success the entire extra, yet also needs to be thankful for the way in which Makowski easily built-in such technical fabric with one of many sizzling themes of medieval historiography this day: past due medieval women's religiosity."―Patrick Nold, Ecclesiastical legislations Journal

"Elizabeth Makowski brilliantly is smart of the incongruities among canon law's expanding 'crack-down' on spiritual girls of all types and the reality of accelerating numbers of past due medieval quasi-religious girls. In so doing she has written a necessary booklet for all these embarking at the examine of medieval non secular girls, at the historical past of canon legislation, and at the heritage of these overdue medieval cities and areas that started to persecute beguines and different spiritual girls. the significance of this examine is threefold: it constitutes a invaluable creation to the paintings

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Additional info for "A Pernicious Sort of Woman": Quasi-Religious Women and Canon Lawyers in the Later Middle Ages

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6. See Ziegler, “Secular Canonesses,” on the importance of recognizing fundamental similarities between quasi-religious canonesses and Beguines. Suzanne Fonay Wemple, Women in Frankish Society: Marriage and the Cloister 500 to 900 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981), pp. 168–74, provides an introduction to the subject of secular canonesses. 7. McNamara, Sisters, pp. 196–97. 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.

In the intervening years the collection had been renamed the Clementinae or Constitutiones Clementinae, and John had also felt free to make modifications in the text itself. The Clementinae was the last official collection of medieval canon 1. A. 1, 2nd. ed. (Malines-Rome, 1945), p. 366; NCE, 3:945–46; Sophie Menache, Clement V (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 289. 2 But for historians of women religious, Clement’s collection of laws is known principally because it contains two decrees, referred to by their opening words Cum de quibusdam and Ad nostrum.

34. See the preface to this book for details regarding this decree. 35. 12. 36. 2. Attendentes and Secular Canonesses 19 Following Guilelmus of Monte Laudano, Zabarella continues, the status of secular canoness is a dangerous one and for that reason the pope permits rather than approves it; nor should it be assumed that because it is permitted that the status of secular canoness is without fault since it is of itself evil (cum sit de se malus). 9), but also two authorities of his own choosing. 37 It is an exegesis of Job 40:17–20 and concerns the choice of the lesser of two evils.

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