By Stephanie Hollis
This research of literature by way of clerics who have been writing to, for, or aboutAnglo-Saxon girls within the eighth and early ninth centuries indicates thatthe place of girls had already declined sharply earlier than the Conquest a declare at variance with the normal scholarly view. Stephanie Hollis argues that Pope Gregory's letter to Augustine and Theodore's Penitentialimplicitly express the early church's view of girls as subordinate to males, and continues that a lot early church writing displays conceptions of womanhood that had hardened into demonstrated normal by means of the later heart a long time. To help her argument the writer examines the indigenous place of girls sooner than the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, and considers purposes for the early church's concessions in recognize of ladies. Emblematic of advancements within the conversion interval, the institution and eventual suppression of abbess-ruled double monasteries varieties a distinct concentration of this research. STEPHANIE HOLLIS is Senior Lecturer in Early English, Universityof Auckland, New Zealand.
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Additional resources for Anglo-Saxon Women and the Church: Sharing a Common Fate
I am, nevertheless, viewing the conversion of England as a process of cultural negotiation, and accept that the relatively high social status of Anglo-Saxon noblewomen represents the continuity of indigenous custom. M. Stenton, The English Woman in History (London, 1957), p. 28. That the legal position of Anglo-Saxon women compared favourably with their Anglo-Norman counterparts had been argued by F. Buckstaff, "Married Women's Property in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman Law and the Origin of the Common Law Dower," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 4 (1893), 23364.
7 Dietrich, p. 38. 8 Fell, 1986, pp. 1314. The assumption that abbesses' rule of the double monasteries is indicative of the power customarily wielded in society by upper class women is a long-standing (footnote continued on next page) Page 5 In effect, Professor Fell regards the pre-Conquest church as socially extraneous, although significant in so far as it offered opportunities for the cultivation of scholarship and provided (through the establishment of double monasteries) an additional sphere for the exercise of power by women who were accustomed to wielding it.
10036. , neither Hill nor Clover calculates the effects of child-bearing), seems more likely to have enhanced than to have diminished women's status, and legislation concerning the bride-price can be read as signifying that the bride-price was an index of women's social value, rather than their status as mere chattels. P. T. Rosenthal, Angles, Angels, and Conquerors: 4001154 (New York, 1973), because they ignore evidence of the power of royal women and monastic women's contribution to the growth of the church.
Anglo-Saxon Women and the Church: Sharing a Common Fate by Stephanie Hollis