Here you can find all of the blog posts written about Medieval women so far. As anchoresses, abbesses and nuns, women were incredibly active in the Medieval Church producing some of the best theological, mystical and devotional texts. Moreover, the spirituality of laywomen also developed and evolved during this time. However, the Middle Ages are less explored and celebrated by the Protestant Church today, and where it is referenced there is a clear disparity in gender representations. For example, Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas and Peter Abelard are spoken of regarding their philosophical and theological works, while Hildegard of Bigen, Catherine of Siena and Julian of Norwich are held at arm’s length, despite also being published theologians – Hildegard and Catherine have even been given the title Doctor of the Church by the Roman Catholic Church, making them two of only three women to achieve this recognition!
So, I encourage you to come and learn about the women of the Medieval Church. Their circumstances, spiritually and sometimes even their doctrine might seem unrecognisable to us. But, if you believe the works of Augustine (354-430 AD) are still of value when read which a pinch of discernment, then there’s no reason for these women to not be treated in the same way. All of them had a genuine faith that took their lives in strange and unexpected directions. They still have valuable lessons to teach us.
This is not a complete list but one that will continually be added to as time goes on. If you’d like to know more about any of the women listed, please feel free to get in touch!
Fun Fact: The classic nativity image of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, with light emitting from the baby Christ, comes to us from the abbess and mystic, Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373). In her vision, Bridget saw Christ surrounded in light and lying on the ground next to his mother. Bridget approaches the pair and kneels down to worship Jesus. She is then joined by Joseph doing the same. Other time, these images of Bridget’s vision evolved into the ‘Adoration of the Child’ depiction that became increasingly popular in the 15th century and continues to influence artists today!