Women in a Celtic Church: Ireland 450-1150

Hardcover | April 1, 2002

byChristina Harrington

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A history of women in the early Irish church has never before been written, despite perennial interest in the early Christianity of Celtic areas, and indeed the increasing interest in gender and spirituality generally. This book covers the development of women's religious professions in theprimitive church in St Patrick's era and the development of large women's monasteries such as Kildare, Clonbroney, Cloonburren, and Killeedy. It traces its subject through the heyday of the seventh century, through the Viking era, and the Culdee reforms, to the era of the Europeanization of thetwelfth century. The place of women and their establishments is considered against the wider Irish background and compared with female religiosity elsewhere in early medieval Europe. The author demonstrates that while Ireland was distinct it was still very much part of the wider world of WesternChristendom, and it must be appreciated as such. Grounded in the primary material of the period the book places in the foreground many largely unknown Irish texts in order to bring them to the attention of scholars in related fields. Throughout the study the author notes widespread ideas about Celtic women, pagan priestesses, and Saint Brigit,considering how these perceptions came about in light of the texts and historiographical traditions of the previous centuries.

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From the Publisher

A history of women in the early Irish church has never before been written, despite perennial interest in the early Christianity of Celtic areas, and indeed the increasing interest in gender and spirituality generally. This book covers the development of women's religious professions in theprimitive church in St Patrick's era and the ...

Christina Harrington is at The Queen's University, Belfast.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:340 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.94 inPublished:April 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198208235

ISBN - 13:9780198208235

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Irish Holy Woman and Her InquisitorsConversion Period: The Fifth and Sixth Centuries1. Religious Women in the Conversion Period c. AD 400-6002. Chrisitan Virgins and their Churches in the Sixth Centuries: The View from the SeventhThe Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth CenturiesIntroduction3. Nuns in the Large Women's Monasteries4. Nuns in Other Settings5. Women of God in the Seventh to Ninth Centuries6. Abbesses and other High-Ranking Holy WomenThe Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth CenturiesIntroduction7. Nuns, Abbesses, Saints, and their Monasteries8. Proximities and Boundaries: Sexual Anxiety and the Monastery9. The Virgin Consort in Hagiography10. 'Generous Eve' and the Echoes of ReformAbbreviationsBibliography

Editorial Reviews

`This book will give instructors in early Irish history and their students much to think about and debate'The Medieval Review