By Megan Cassidy-Welch

This ebook explores the area of spiritual pondering on imprisonment, and the way pictures of imprisonment have been utilized in monastic notion, the cult of saints, the early inquisitions, preaching and hagiographical literature and the realm of the crusades to explain a belief of inclusion and freedom that was once particularly significant to medieval Christians.

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Extra resources for Imprisonment in the Medieval Religious Imagination, c. 1150-1400

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The General Chapter distinguished between types of apostasy: at one end of the spectrum were monks who ran away from their monastery with the permanent intention of never returning (generally described as fugitives), and at the other end were monks who might have travelled outside the monastic precinct without permission and who may or may not have committed other crimes beyond the monastery walls. Once apostates were found and returned to the monastery, they faced various forms of public punishment, as was the case in nonCistercian houses.

It was expected that the abbots of individual houses would report on the decisions made at the General Chapter meeting to their own houses, and, through visitation to their daughter houses, oversee the implementation and maintenance of the various policy outcomes of the Chapter. The General Chapter thus dealt with an enormous range of issues, from finance to liturgical practice, from the uniformity of dress to instructions to individual houses to repair their premises. Many of the Statuta relate to that rather nebulous category of monastic ‘discipline’.

Her affair with the male religious takes off after they, ‘breaking silence, [ ... ] exchanged sweet words of love’ (she ‘as she said later, thought only of love’, whereas he ‘anticipated fornication’ from the start). There is some suggestion that he may have raped her, as their first sexual encounter took place with her being ‘thrown down, made silent so she not cry out’ (prosternitur, os ne clamaret obstruitur), devoid of speech in fact. When the nun does speak, it is to confess her actions to her sisters and to reveal her pregnancy.

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