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Religious Women in Early Carolingian FranciaA Study of Manuscript Transmission and Monastic Culture$
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Felice Lifshitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823256877

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823256877.001.0001

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Syneisactism and Reform: Gender Relations in the Anglo-Saxon Cultural Province in Francia

Syneisactism and Reform: Gender Relations in the Anglo-Saxon Cultural Province in Francia

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter One Syneisactism and Reform: Gender Relations in the Anglo-Saxon Cultural Province in Francia
Source:
Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia
Author(s):

Felice Lifshitz

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823256877.003.0001

This chapter examines gender relations in the Main Valley, primarily among ecclesiastics and secondarily among the laity, and traces how they became more complex and conflicted over the course of the eighth century, under the impact of the early stages of the Carolingian reform movement. Several reformers sought to increase restrictions on religious women, to limit their ecclesiastical activities, and emphasize segregation of men from women. This trend posed a challenge to the gender-egalitarian culture that was favoured by the Anglo-Saxon immigrants to Francia and their continental collaborators, and particularly threatened the widespread commitment to syneisactism, a form of religious life that encouraged sexually chaste contact between men and women. However, the chapter also shows, through examination of a selection of legal manuscripts, how the reform ideas were often resisted on the ground through the ability of feminist scribes to edit and shape the texts they produced.

Keywords:   Syneisactism, Marriage, Chaste marriage, Carolingian Reform movement, Canon law, Boniface of Mainz, Leoba of Tauberbischofsheim

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