By Cate Gunn
Ancrene Wisse and Vernacular Spirituality within the heart a long time is an advent to the Ancrene Wisse—an very important thirteenth-century consultant for recluses who, for spiritual purposes, withdrew from secularity so as to lead an ascetic and prayer-oriented existence. This quantity considers the large spiritual context within which the Ancrene Wisse was once written and broadens that context through addressing problems with readership, drawing comparisons among lay piety and sermons, and difficult the various long-held perspectives on Ancrene Wisse’s particularly lady readership, articulating a spot for the monastic vintage within the constructing literature of vernacular spirituality.
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Additional resources for Ancrene Wisse: From Pastoral Literature to Vernacular Spirituality
02Wisse Pt 1 13/12/07 9:49 Page 20 THE RELIGIOUS CONTEXT Hildebrand, who became Gregory VII on his election to the papacy in 1073, is well known for his clash with the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, over the right of the emperor to appoint bishops; investiture of bishops was still an issue in both the first and second Councils. Much of the reform known as ‘Gregorian’ was to do with the authority of the Church, but alongside the promotion of authority was an attempt to tackle corrupt practices in the Church, such as simony and the marriage of priests: arguably, the Church needed to be seen to be righteous in order for its authority to be credible.
Women were often seen as a distraction from, if not a threat to, the orderliness of the religious life, yet there were always some individual men prepared to champion their cause and establish houses for them. The apparent misogynistic attitudes of church leaders need to be treated with some caution, and within historical context. ’, also needs to be read in context: this was part of a tirade against the ‘new heretics’ from Toulouse, who claimed to be virtuous and to be able to be with women without submitting to desire.
So that when in 1215 the 4th Lateran Council decreed that ‘the body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the species of bread and wine; the bread being transubstantiated into the body, and the wine into the blood by the power of God . ’, it is impossible to assert with confidence that this statement anticipates the authorization by the Council of Trent of the kind of doctrine elaborated by S. 5 The philosophical niceties of eucharistic transformation may have been of little interest to the majority of Christians, but as the doctrine of transubstantiation was formulated by theologians, popular devotion to the real presence of Christ and the sacrament of the Eucharist grew.
Ancrene Wisse: From Pastoral Literature to Vernacular Spirituality by Cate Gunn