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Medieval Matters: "Brides" of Christ and "Lords" of Men: Medieval Women and Spiritual Authority

MEDIEVAL MATTERSMedieval Matters is a series of public lectures co-sponsored by Stanford Continuing Studies, the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Office for Religious Life, and the community group The Sarum Seminar. It explores the relevance of medieval history and culture to understanding the modern world.“Brides” of Christ and “Lords” of Men: Medieval Women and Spiritual AuthorityIn 1817, Jane Austen dismissed “History” in a few sentences, rejecting it as an account of quarrels, wars, and pestilences—with “hardly any women at all.” Almost two hundred years later, history is less one-sided. But the idea that the past was a place of reflexively male authority and privilege remains largely intact. The medieval world, in particular, has an almost unshakeable reputation for misogyny, many still agreeing with the second-century church father Tertullian, who called Woman the “devil’s gateway.” Yet, as Fiona Griffiths shows, medieval women could also be celebrated as spiritual leaders, as “apostles,” and as intercessors whose prayers were highly sought. Tracing a tradition of female spiritual authority within the medieval church, Griffiths will offer an alternate vantage point from which to consider the interplay of gender and power in the medieval world. This analysis of gender, politics, and power will seem especially pertinent at a time when the United States presidential election will be in full swing. Fiona Griffiths, Professor of History, Stanford
Fiona Griffiths’ research focuses on 12th-century intellectual and religious culture, with a particular emphasis on the intersection of gender, spirituality, and intellectual engagement. She is the author of The Garden of Delights: Reform and Renaissance for Women in the Twelfth Century. Her book Nuns’ Priests’ Tales: Gender, Authority, and Apologetics in the Medieval Monastery, 400–1200 is forthcoming.

Details

When:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016. 07:30 PM

Where:

Bishop Auditorium, Lathrop Library

Sponsor:

Medieval Matters is a series of public lectures co-sponsored by Stanford Continuing Studies, the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Office for Religious Life, and the community group The Sarum Seminar.

Contact:

725-2650
continuingstudies@stanford.edu

Admission:

Free; no advance registration required.