HSTAM 111 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Xanten, Fontevraud Abbey, Mendicant Orders

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Published on 15 May 2017
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Lecture Notes 10
Monday, May 1, 2017
Holy women in High Middle Ages
- Religious orders involving women are being shut down/underattack
o Concern that female communities are sources of temptation
- New religious orders often hostile toward women
- Women becoming dependent on men for spiritual services
- Movement to close off nuns in convents from community around them
o Strictly cloistered
o Not completely cut off though
Convents often destinations for pilgrimage
Have opportunity to perform charitable work
- Fontevrault (1100) founded by Robert of Arbissel
o Follows old model, where abbess is in charge of both houses
- Sempringham (1148) founded by Gilbert of Sempringham
o Prior in charge of men’s house, and prioress in charge of women’s house
- Premontre (1125) founded by Norbert of Xanten
o Leaders after Norbert’s death extremely hostile toward women; try to get rid of
double monasteries
o 1198 attempt to make rule prohibiting women from joining the order
o 1270 successfully bar women from the order by prohibiting new women from
joining order and expelling many of the existing nuns
- Mendicant order (13th c.)
o Supposed to be completely poor; beg for what they need
o Resistant to admitting women, but many women want to join
o End up having to give in to women
- Dominicans (1200s) Dominic founds convent, but its followers don’t want to involve
women
- Franciscans (1209) - Francis of Assisi also reluctant to involve women
o Clare of Assisi (d.1253) lifelong friend of Francis’s
Poor Clares
San Damiano run-down church that Francis gives to Clare
- Magdalen House
o Founded by Mary Magdalen
o Convents for reformed prostitutes
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