By Cate Gunn
Ancrene Wisse and Vernacular Spirituality within the heart a while is an creation to the Ancrene Wisse—an vital thirteenth-century advisor for recluses who, for non secular purposes, withdrew from secularity so one can lead an ascetic and prayer-oriented existence. This quantity considers the wide spiritual context during which the Ancrene Wisse used to be written and broadens that context by way of addressing problems with readership, drawing comparisons among lay piety and sermons, and difficult the various long-held perspectives on Ancrene Wisse’s in particular lady readership, articulating a spot for the monastic vintage within the constructing literature of vernacular spirituality.
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Extra resources for Ancrene Wisse: From Pastoral Literature to Vernacular Spirituality
The Church was anxious to impose order and control on women, and the curia wanted existing, male, orders to take responsibility for women – a responsibility they desperately tried to avoid. Reformed monastic orders, such as the Cistercians, were particularly reluctant to accept responsibility for women, whom they saw as a threat to their salvation. 20 It is not always clear to what order some houses of nuns were affiliated; in Lincolnshire in the thirteenth century, for example, some houses determinedly claimed to belong to the Cistercian order – partly because of the financial benefit – although the abbot of Cîteaux denied their affiliation.
Miraculous Hosts which appeared to change into bloody flesh became the objects of pilgrimage, and the body and blood of Christ became the focus of a new feast of devotion, Corpus Christi. The instigator of this feast, and main campaigner for it, was a religious woman from Liège, Juliana of Cornillon. Juliana was brought up from childhood in the religious house of Cornillon, which had been founded by citizens of Liège. Although the house had a practical mission, caring for lepers, Juliana pursued a life of devotion.
The social position of the anchoresses for whom Ancrene Wisse was written, and the probable reasons for their choosing the anchoritic life, bear comparison with what we know of the early beguines on the Continent. The essential difference between the life of the beguines and that of the anchoresses was the strict enclosure of the anchoresses. It was within the physical confines of the anchorhold that the spiritual life of the anchoresses was constructed. The author of Ancrene Wisse was writing of the ideal of the anchoritic life, which, like that of the beguines, was chaste, ascetic and orthodox, but he was also aware of the opportunities for laxness.
Ancrene Wisse: From Pastoral Literature to Vernacular Spirituality by Cate Gunn