Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 43589
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Powell , Austin,
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Manuscript Miscellanies, Jerome's Letters to Women, and the Dominican Observant Reform in Fifteenth-Century Italy
  • Source: Renaissance Quarterly 74, 3 ( 2021): Pages 722 - 762. Available with a subscription: https://doi.org/10.1017/rqx.2021.99
  • Description: The observant movement in the Dominican order undertook pastoral care of devour women. They wrote these women letters of spiritual direction. Those letters were bound together with letters of Saint Jerome, genuine and forged, counselling Eustochium and other devout women of his day. They also could be found together with letters of Catherine of Siena. The presence of letters by Jerome, one of the fathers of the church, served as precedents for the observants' ministry to women. [Description provided by Feminae]
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Antoninus, Archbishop of Florence and Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint- Letters Dominican Order Dominici, John, Dominican Observant and Cardinal Eustochium, Holy Woman Jerome, Theologian and Saint Letters Manuscripts
  • Award Note:
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 4, 15
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: This article examines the manuscripts into which compilers bound Dominican letters of spiritual direction in fifteenth-century Italy. It argues that manuscript compilers sought to model Observant Dominican sanctity after Jerome's late antique practice of writing letters of spiritual direction to women. The paper aims to contribute to the growing conversation around the development and spread of an Observant Dominican identity by demonstrating that compilers modeled Observant beati after Jerome's authoritative persona in order to argue for the ancient precedent of the reformers’ often controversial agendas, chief among them their active ministry to women. [Reproduced from the journal page on the Cambridge Core website: https://doi.org/10.1017/rqx.2021.99]
  • Author's Affiliation: University of California, Davis
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2021.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00344338 (print); 19350236 (online)