Monastic Women and Spirituality in Medieval Germany
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Publisher: Columbia University Press
Number of Pages: 210
Through the lens of sensorial experience, Erika Lauren Lindgren explores the spirituality of monastic women as reflected in their writings, liturgical texts, artwork, architecture, and archival documents. Specifically, she focuses on the Dominican nuns and lay-sisters of southern Germany in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, particularly the way in which these women controlled and interpreted their surroundings and incorporated them into their spiritual and devotional practices. Lindgren divides the monastic environment into four areas: the spatial environment, in which she considers the physical as well as spiritual requirements of the monastic community and the use of precinct space; the visual environment, in which she looks at the function of visual material in daily spirituality and the meanings given to these images; the acoustical environment and the roles of silence and sound in communal and private devotional practices; and the textual environment, in which Lindgren addresses the intersection between the visual, the acoustical, and women's utilization of texts. Brilliantly argued and intellectually rich, Lindgren's study is a remarkable examination of the connections between the spirituality of monastic women and the physical and sensual environment of the medieval monastery.