Arts, Humanities, Medieval

Peace, Politics, Gender and God: Beowulf and the Women Of Early Medieval Europe

By Eleanor Franzen Beowulf is not what one might call a feminine poem. The women whose lives and sufferings are described within it are not the immediate focus. No one thinks of the agony of Hildeburh or the canny political maneuverings of Wealhtheow when they think of Beowulf. The Beowulf-poet, particularly in his exploitation and… Continue reading Peace, Politics, Gender and God: Beowulf and the Women Of Early Medieval Europe

Humanities, Medieval

Saint Clare of Assisi – living by the Rule

By Raffaella Tommassi. Clare of Assisi can be seen as one of the most influential women in the Middle Ages, at the forefront of the fight to ensure a true female religious mendicancy. Indeed, Pope Innocent IV agreed with me, stopping the Friars Minor from saying the office of the dead during her funeral and… Continue reading Saint Clare of Assisi – living by the Rule

Humanities, Medieval

Wholly Guilty and Wholly Innocent: Heloise, Sin and Intention

By Diana Jeske   During her lifetime and beyond, Heloise captured hearts. Her intellectual brilliance in life attracted the love of the most famous philosopher of the day, Peter Abelard, and the passion revealed in her later letters to him has captivated scholars, from Petrarch to twenty-first century academics, ever since. Born, most likely, in… Continue reading Wholly Guilty and Wholly Innocent: Heloise, Sin and Intention

Classical/ Ancient, Humanities

Mary Magdalene: The Epitome of Faithful Female Discipleship

By Simon Cuff The epitome of discipleship represented by Mary Magdalene is all the more startling both because it contradicts the picture presented by popular culture thanks to Dan Brown, and the traditional Christian idea of her as the reformed prostitute and sinner, and because of what it tells us about ourselves. The Gospels are… Continue reading Mary Magdalene: The Epitome of Faithful Female Discipleship

Humanities, Medieval

Commitment to poverty and commitment to Christ: The spirituality of Saint Clare as revealed in her letters to Agnes of Prague

By Charlotte King Saint Clare was born in the small northern Italian town of Assisi in 1194 to a noble, wealthy family. When she was 18 she resisted pressure from her family to marry and secretly ran away to join St Francis and his followers. She was unable to follow the itinerant lifestyle of the… Continue reading Commitment to poverty and commitment to Christ: The spirituality of Saint Clare as revealed in her letters to Agnes of Prague

Medieval, Science

Hildegard of Bingen

By Sophie Johnston There has been a resurgence of interest in the figure of Hildegard of Bingen, particularly in female religious circles. But despite increased knowledge of her ecstatic religious visions and contribution to medieval music, few are aware that Hildegard also wrote extensively on the subjects of medicine and natural science. These ‘scientific’ works… Continue reading Hildegard of Bingen