Unveiling female observance: reform, regulation and the rise of Dominican nunneries in late medieval Portugal

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Abstract

The Observant reforms marked the religious landscape of late medieval Europe, changing the Church as a whole and initiating a wave of reforms and the foundation of convents in all the major religious orders. Recent studies devoted to the subject have revealed the pluralities of the movement in each territory and congregation and alerted scholars to the necessity of studies that go beyond the official accounts of reform produced by the Observants within a propagandistic agenda. Centring on the spread of Observance in the Dominican province of Portugal—for which the main reference remains early modern chronicles, based on the accounts of the reformers—this paper seeks to bring new insights to the dynamics and agents behind the spread of this reform among the Portuguese Dominicans, in particular the female branch of the order, in which proliferation was deeply connected with the reformative politics of the time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-382
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Medieval Iberian Studies
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Observant reform
  • Dominican order
  • Dominican nuns
  • female monasticism
  • late medieval Portugal

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