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Title: Communities of the Move : the transformation of communities of women religious in late medieval and early modern England
Author: Goodwin, E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 523X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2015
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English women religious were part of consistently changing, reforming and vibrant communities. The convent that enclosed them with walls was only one of the ways in which their communities were defined, and of which they were a part. In late medieval England, their communities were informed and consistently reasserted through the exchange, integration and reading of pious texts that informed the spirituality of the convent, demonstrated their connections with the local laity and placed the female readership in a wider community of shared devotion. Visual culture within the convent, and engaged with by the inhabitants, vividly reflected broad trends of a wide devotional community, and the gifting of secular material placed these women firmly within wider lay communities. During the Dissolution of the monasteries, communities of women religious were not diminished by the threat to and eventual disbanding of institutional boundaries; both members of the internal and external communities negotiated community borders to maintain communal connections. After the Suppression, communities of female religious were once again maintained and recreated through texts and through their sense of spiritual self, often in hostile and alien environments. Through three case studies, the communal experiences of women religious in England are assessed, bringing together convents of different size, wealth and religious order to understand a representative, national picture of female religious life. Borrowing methods from prosopography, this work analyses the transformations of community from both external influence and internal negotiation, reformation and recreation. The communities to which women religious belonged were not static, but consistently reaffirmed and reformed through textual evidence, visual culture and negotiation with the laity.
Supervisor: Staub, Martial Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available