The Care of Nuns: The Ministries of Benedictine Women in England During the Central Middle Ages (Hardcover)
In her ground-breaking new study, Katie Bugyis offers a new history of communities of Benedictine nuns in England from 900 to 1225. By applying innovative paleographical, codicological, and textual analyses to their surviving liturgical books, Bugyis recovers a treasure trove of unexamined
evidence for understanding these women's lives and the liturgical and pastoral ministries they performed. She examines the duties and responsibilities of their chief monastic officers--abbesses, prioresses, cantors, and sacristans--highlighting three of the ministries vital to their
practice-liturgically reading the gospel, hearing confessions, and offering intercessory prayers for others. Where previous scholarship has argued that the various reforms of the central Middle Ages effectively relegated nuns to complete dependency on the sacramental ministrations of priests, Bugyis
shows that, in fact, these women continued to exercise primary control over their spiritual care. Essential to this argument is the discovery that the production of the liturgical books used in these communities was carried out by female scribes, copyists, correctors, and creators of texts,
attesting to the agency and creativity that nuns exercised in the care they extended to themselves and those who sought their hospitality, counsel, instruction, healing, forgiveness, and intercession.
About the Author
KATIE ANN-MARIE BUGYIS is a historian of medieval religious women and Assistant Professor in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She is the co-editor of two volumes, including Medieval Cantors and their Craft and Taken Seriously: Women Intellectuals, Professionals, andCommunity Leaders of the Medieval World