This volume brings together recent and new research, with several items specially translated into English, on the sisters of the largest and most long-lived of the military-religious orders, the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. In recent years there has been increasing scholarly interest in women's religious houses during the Middle Ages, with particular focus on the problems which they faced and the social needs which they performed. The military-religious orders have been largely excluded from this interest, partly because it has been assumed that women played little role in religious orders with a predominantly military purpose. Recent research has shown this to be a misconception. Study of the women members of these orders enables scholars to gain a deeper appreciation of the nature of hospitaller and military orders and of the role of women in religious life in general. The papers in this volume explore the roles which the Hospitaller sisters performed within their order; examine the problems of having men and women living within the same or adjoining houses; study relations between the order and the patrons of its women's houses; and consider the career of a prominent Hospitaller woman who became a saint. This volume will be of interest not only to scholars of the military-religious orders and of the Hospital of St John in particular, but also to scholars of monastic history and to those with a concern for women's history during the middle ages.
’… this important and wide-ranging collection of essays.’ English Historical Review ’This volume is a valuable contribution to the history of religious orders in the Middle Ages and to gender studies.’ Church History
Contents: Preface; Introduction: A survey of Hospitaller women in the Middle Ages, Anthony Luttrell and Helen J. Nicholson; Women and the military orders in the 12th and 13th centuries, Alan Forey; Men and women of the Hospitaller, Templar and Teutonic Orders: 12th to 14th centuries, Francesco Tommasi; The sisters of the Order of St John at Mynchin Buckland, Myra Struckmeyer; The Aragonese Hospitaller monastery of Sigena: its early stages, 1188-c.1210, Luis GarcÃa-Guijarro Ramos; Margaret de Lacy and the Hospital of St John at Aconbury, Herefordshire, Helen J. Nicholson; The Hospitaller sisters in Frisia, Johannes A. Mol; Fleur de Beaulieu (d. 1347), Saint of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, Pauline L'Hermite-Leclercq; The female monastery of San Bevignate at Perugia: 1325-c.1507, Francesco Tommasi; Index of names and places.