Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crown and veil

Busy week ahead: the first batch of essays is in to grade, I need to finish revisions to an article imminently, and that ms. I agreed to review is due soon. Let's not even talk about job applications yet.

I also still have a large stack of books to peruse, and today I looked at Crown and Veil, edited by Jeffrey Hamburger & Susan Marti. This is a collection of essays on female monasticism intended to accompany an exhibition of artwork from women's monasteries in Germany. From my cursory overview so far, it's a good look at the state of the subject. While it focuses geographically on Germany, Hamburger's introduction discusses the need to balance examining what is distinctive about female monasticism with how it fits into, and in turn changes, the larger world of medieval church and society. Hm, now there's a familiar theme. The collection then kicks off with two essays surveying the history of foundations, orders, and so forth, and goes on to examine numerous topics, including architecture, artwork, liturgy, patronage, and economy of women's monasteries.  I plan to discuss some of these essays at greater length as I find time.

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