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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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“An Eternal Weight of Glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17): Discipline and Devotion in Monastic Life

“An Eternal Weight of Glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17): Discipline and Devotion in Monastic Life

(p.148) Chapter Seven “An Eternal Weight of Glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17): Discipline and Devotion in Monastic Life
Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia

Felice Lifshitz

Fordham University Press

This chapter studies the texts that served as guidelines for monastic life at Karlburg and Kitzingen during the eighth century, before the rise of prescriptive rules (such as the Rule of Benedict) in the ninth century and after. These included Isidore of Seville’s Synonyms (in the case of Karlburg, combined with narratives concerning the transvestite saint Eugenia and the boy martyr Potitus), the florilegium known as the Liber Scintillarum, a handful of sermons (primarily by Caesarius of Arles), and an abbreviated cento of Jerome’s Commentary on Ecclesiastes. For the most part, these texts were universalizing in terms of gender, and thus equally appropriate for (and ultimately equally popular with) male, female or mixed monastic communities who could, for instance, engage in devotional penance as an unmediated experience with God, using the script provided by Isidore’s Synonyms, or follow Isidore’s strategies for avoiding fornication through vanquishing libido. However, the chapter also uncovers some gender-specific aspects to the texts, including feminist re-writings of particular passages and anxiety over lesbian desire at Karlburg. The chapter also discusses the illuminations in the Kitzingen Isidore, a series of meaning-enhancing images produced by the theologian-artist who created the Kitzingen crucifixion miniature.

Keywords:   Isidore of Seville, Synonyms, Eugenia, transvestite saint and Roman martyr, Potitus, saint and martyr, Würzburg, Universitätsbibliothek M.p.th.f. 13, Florilegia, Caesarius of Arles, Jerome, Commentary on Ecclesiastes, Centos, Lesbian desire, Manuscript illumination

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