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Title: Visionary literature for devotional instruction : its function and transmission in late medieval observant female religious communities in North-Western Europe
Author: Drieshen, Clarck
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 9341
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the function and transmission of late medieval visionary writings with devotional instructions between enclosed convents in England, the Low Countries and German-speaking areas. It argues that religious women, who could not normally assert authority as religious teachers and writers, used devotional instructions, to which they or others had attributed divine origins, to authoritatively teach their communities to develop more disciplined religious lives and to identify more intimately with Christ. The thesis examines these devotional instructions as carefully designed tools that enabled religious women to actively participate in promoting the ideals of the contemporary monastic reform movements of the Devotio Moderna and Observant reform. The thesis studies the devotional works of the late medieval religious women who wrote accounts about personal visions: Magdalena Beutler, a Poor Clare in Freiburg im Breisgau, an anonymous female Franciscan tertiary, Jacomijne Costers, a canoness regular in Antwerp, and Maria van Hout, a beguine in Oisterwijk. It examines, moreover, how women religious scribes disseminated and adapted these and other revelatory devotional instructions for different devotional contexts. By examining the transmission histories of these works, the thesis not only identifies several new important copies, which help explain how some works came to circulate across different linguistic regions, but also the textual networks in which these works circulated. An important finding of my thesis is that women religious scribes actively adapted divinely authorised devotional instructions for different devotional contexts. They actively customised these works for their own convents, but also used them for reaching out to extra-mural lay communities. These writings, then, enabled them not only to reform their own devotional cultures, but to effectively influence late medieval devotional culture as a whole.
Supervisor: Jamroziak, Emilia ; Batt, Catherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available