Women in the Military Orders of the Crusades: The Sisters of Saint John of Jerusalem

Hardcover | August 7, 2012

byMyra Miranda Bom

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Women, like men, joined the religious military orders that came about during the Crusades such as the Templars, Hospitallers, and Order of Santiago. This study looks deeper into female membership of these orders by placing the discussion of women in medieval military orders in the larger context of female monasticism. While all major religious military orders are taken into account, the focus of this study, and the brunt of new research, is on the female members of the Order of Saint John.

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Women, like men, joined the religious military orders that came about during the Crusades such as the Templars, Hospitallers, and Order of Santiago. This study looks deeper into female membership of these orders by placing the discussion of women in medieval military orders in the larger context of female monasticism. While all major r...

Myra Miranda Bom is an independent scholar who lives in Chapel Hill, NC. She has presented papers at the Institute of Historical Research, St Edmund's College, the University of North Carolina, and medieval conferences. She has also published several articles on women and the military orders.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:252 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.62 inPublished:August 7, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023011413X

ISBN - 13:9780230114135

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Table of Contents

Introduction * Female Monasticism * Women in Military Orders * The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem * The Lay Sisters of Saint John of Jerusalem * Hospitaller Sisters in the Twelfth Century * Hospitaller Sisters in the Thirteenth Century * The Hospital and its Female Members * Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

"Myra Miranda Bom's book is a welcome addition to the literature." - The Medieval Review "Bom studies the extent to which and the reasons why women were admitted to the military orders, focusing in particular on the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (the Hospitallers). Her study makes a number of important points, the most significant of which are, first, those orders that drew their inspiration from the Rule of St. Augustine (the Hospitallers, for example) were more accepting of women than those that drew their inspiration from the Rule of St. Benedict (the Templars, for example); secondly, in the case of the Hospitallers, the fact that the military focus of the order developed in the aftermath of its charitable focus explains the seeming contradiction of women becoming members of a "military" order. The book comprises seven chapters covering the 12th and 13th centuries and situating the Hospitallers in the context of other military orders. It is thorough and cautious in its approach and clearly written; there is a noticeable, welcome absence of the jargon that has marred many a study. This lucid book makes an important contribution to the understanding of the military orders. Summing Up: Highly recommended." - Choice "No one who reads Bom's book will be able to remain comfortable with glib collective remarks about 'the military orders.' Specifically, in demonstrating the Hospitallers' surprising openness to the inclusion of women in their order, she shows convincingly how their attitude arose out of their very particular aims and purposes and the distinctive sources of income on which they tended to depend, fusing with their Augustinian rather than Benedictine-Cistercian orientation." - Michael McVaugh, University of North Carolina