Saints Lives and the Rhetoric of Gender: Male and Female in Merovingian Hagiography

Hardcover | July 1, 1998

byJohn Kitchen

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Medieval lives of female saints have attracted wide attention in recent years. Some scholars have argued that such texts reveal a distinctive form of female sanctity which only female hagiographers managed to properly articulate, and important writings have been attributed to female authors onthat assumption. In this revisionist work, John Kitchen tests such claims through a close examination of several texts--lives of both male and female saints, by authors of both sexes--from sixth century France. He argues that sometimes the "authentic voice" of the female writer or saint soundsemphatically male. This study gives examples of how both male and female authors sometimes depicted holy women talking, acting, or even dressing like their male counterparts. Ultimately, the author aims to cast doubt on the assumption that male authors were ignorant of or hostile towardcertain--specifically female--concerns. By the same token, Kitchen's work raises serious methodological problems with the gender approach to the hagiographic literature of the early Middle Ages.

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Medieval lives of female saints have attracted wide attention in recent years. Some scholars have argued that such texts reveal a distinctive form of female sanctity which only female hagiographers managed to properly articulate, and important writings have been attributed to female authors onthat assumption. In this revisionist work, ...

John Kitchen is at University of Toronto.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 1.1 inPublished:July 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195117220

ISBN - 13:9780195117226

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"John Kitchen's study is an important contribution."--Catholic Historical Review