Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 4748
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Head , Thomas.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: The Marriages of Christina of Markyate
  • Source: Viator 21, ( 1990): Pages 75 - 101.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Betrothal Bride of Christ, Image of Brides Canon Law Christina of Markyate, Recluse Daughters Hagiography Literature- Prose Marital Relations Marriage- Contested Marriage Contracts Marriage- Forced in Literature Monasticism Noble Women Nuns- Compelled to
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 12
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  • Abstract: Medieval Christianity characterized celibate people, particularly virginal females, as "brides of Christ." From late antiquity, the act of entering the religious life or of making a vow of virginity was legally and ritually comparable to marriage. In the twelfth century, the definition of Christian marriage underwent significant revision. This was mirrored in the application of the sponsa Christi motif to Christina of Markyate by the monk of Saint Albans who composed her life. According to the hagiographer, Christina used her vow of virginity and her status as a bride of Christ to form the basis of her attempt in ecclesiastical courts to overturn a subsequent betrothal of marriage to a man named Burthred. Christina eventually won her case over the opposition of her parents. She utilized contemporary notions of the importance of consent in forming a marital bond to substantiate her claim that she had freely married Jesus and thus could not marry the spouse chosen by her parents. [Reproduced from the journal website: http://brepols.metapress.com/content/121213/?p=afdbc79947a4444b9739ff05942fde63&pi=0]
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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1990.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00835897
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