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Book Cover
Author Voaden, Rosalynn, 1949-

Title God's words, women's voices : the discernment of spirits in the writing of late-medieval women visionaries / Rosalynn Voaden.

Published Suffolk, UK ; Rochester, NY : York Medieval Press, 1999.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  248.29 VOAD    AVAILABLE
 UniM Bail  248.29 VOAD    AVAILABLE
Physical description 204 pages ; 25 cm
Notes "A York Medieval Press publication in association with the Boydell Press ... and with the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York"--T.p. verso.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 183-202) and index.
Contents Ch. 1. Women and Vision: The Devil's Gateway. Mystics and Visionaries. Classical and Christian Misogyny. The Medieval Church and Women's Spirituality. Women, Vision and discretio spirituum -- Ch. 2. Seducing Spirits. The Discourse of discretio spirituum. Discretio spirituum: Definition and Development. The Role of the Spiritual Director of Visionaries. Popular Knowledge of discretio spirituum. Discretio spirituum and Women Visionaries -- Ch. 3. The Lady Vanishes: Bridget of Sweden, Exemplary Visionary. The Woman behind the Visionary. Epistola solitarii ad reges: Authority 81; Knowledge 85; Behaviour 89. Sancta Birgitta Revelaciones: Authority 96; Knowledge 99; Behaviour 104 -- Ch. 4. Margery Kempe: The Woman Who Would Not Go Away. The Tangled Text. The Woman behind the Text. Margery's Mixed Blessing. Discretio spirituum in The Book of Margery Kempe: Authority 122; Knowledge 132; Behaviour 139. Exit the Woman.
App. The Middle English Epistola solitarii ad reges of Alfonso of Jaen: An Edition of the Text in London, British Library, MS Cotton Julius Fii.
Summary Visions and prophecy offered medieval women one of the few pathways to authority in religious and, in some cases, political life. The ecclesiastical doctrine of discretio spirituum was a means of testing whether visions were truly of divine origin: the gift of revelation was not seen to make a woman less dangerous or ready to deceive, and the conjunction of deceitful women and deceiving visions demanded stringent checks and controls by ecclesiastical authorities. This book first explores discretio spirituum in the Revelaciones of St Bridget of Sweden and suggests that Bridget was clearly aware of the rules and eager to present her experiences as impeccably orthodox; in contrast, the ambivalent reception of Margery Kempe and her Book is shown to be due to her inconsistent conformity to the doctrine. The consequences of failure to conform could be severe: Marguerite Porete and Joan of Arc were burned at the stake, ostensibly because their visions were deemed to be of demonic origin.
Other author University of York. Centre for Medieval Studies.
Subject Kempe, Margery, approximately 1373- Book of Margery Kempe.
Bridget, of Sweden, Saint, approximately 1303-1373. Revelationes.
Pecha, Alfonso, 1329 or 1330-1389.
Women mystics -- Europe -- History.
Private revelations -- History of doctrines -- Middle Ages, 600-1500.
Discernment of spirits -- History of doctrines -- Middle Ages, 600-1500.
ISBN 0952973421 (alk. paper)