European University Institute Library

The pastoral care of women in late medieval England, Beth Allison Barr

A close examination of religious texts illuminates the way in which parish priests dealt with their female parishioners in the middle ages. The question of how priests were taught to think about and care for female parishioners is the topic of this book. As neither misogynist villains nor saintly heroes, clerical authors of pastoral vernacular literature persisted both in their characterization of women as difficult parishioners and in their attempts to recognize women as ordinary parishioners who deserved ordinary pastoral care. Focusing on the important vernacular writings of John Mirk, his 'Festial' and 'Instructions for Parish Priests', the author reveals how even a small number of influential sermon compilations, exempla, and pastoral guides could have significantly shaped the perceptions, attitudes, and - perhaps - actions of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century priests. Shedding light on the mental universe of the late medieval parish, this study offers important new insights into the reality of how priests perceived and fulfilled their spiritual obligations to the women they served. BETH ALLISON BARR is Assistant Professor of European Women's History at Baylor University.--, Provided by publisher
Table Of Contents
Introduction: "Be it husband, be it wife" -- Pastoral vernacular literature -- Pastoral language -- Pastoral perceptions -- Pastoral care -- Conclusion: Gendered lessons
Literary Form
non fiction
Physical Description
1 online resource (x, 171 pages), digital, PDF file(s).
Specific Material Designation
Form Of Item

Library Locations

  • Badia Fiesolana

    Via dei Roccettini 9, San Domenico di Fiesole, 50014, IT