Monks and Nuns: Saints and Outcasts
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About "Monks and Nuns: Saints and Outcasts"
A new generation of historians is now borrowing from cultural anthropology, post-modern critical theory and gender studies to understand the social meanings of medieval religious movements, practices, figures and cults. This volume brings together essays combining these approaches.;Some of the essays re-envision the professionals of the religion* the monks and nuns who carried out crucial social functions as mediators between living and dead, repositories for social memory and loci of vicarious piety. In their religious life, these people embodied an image of the society that produced them. Other contributions focus on social categories, usually expressed as dichotomies* male/female; insider/outsider; saint/outcast. The text shows the interaction of seemingly antithetical groups of medieval people and the ways in which they were defined by, as well as against, each other. The essays, taken together, form a tribute to Lester K. Little, a pioneer in the study of religion in medieval society.