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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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“We Interpret Spiritual Truths to People Possessed of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:13): Studying the Bible with the Fathers of the Church

“We Interpret Spiritual Truths to People Possessed of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:13): Studying the Bible with the Fathers of the Church

Chapter:
(p.87) Chapter Five “We Interpret Spiritual Truths to People Possessed of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:13): Studying the Bible with the Fathers of the Church
Source:
Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia
Author(s):

Felice Lifshitz

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823256877.003.0005

This chapter discusses the copies of works by Augustine (his Commentary on the Gradual Psalms, in Würzburg, Universitätsbibliothek M.p.th.f. 17) and Gregory I (his Homilies on the Gospels, in Würzburg, Universitätsbibliothek M.p.th.f. 45) that were produced at Karlburg and Kitzingen respectively. It refutes the notion that patristic writings in general were characterized by misogyny, or a view of women as “the devil’s gateway.” While some writings by Augustine, Gregory and other Fathers of the Church did participate in an anti-female discourse, female scribe-authors worked to identify those works that did not do so but were, like the two studied in this chapter, broadly gender-egalitarian and easily open to feminist readings (for instance in their treatments of Eve, Mary Magdalen, and other female saints). The chapter also shows how the spiritual content of these two patristic biblical commentaries functioned in the devotional life of the women’s monasteries, where the psalms were chanted several times a day at regular intervals, and the gospel passages (pericopes) associated with Gregory’s Roman church were read in regular rotation over the liturgical year.

Keywords:   Augustine of Hippo, Psalms, Patristic misogyny, Gregory I the Great, Gospels, Homilies, Biblical commentary, Liturgical pericopes, Adam and Eve, Mary Magdalen

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