The essays within this volume unite study of the medieval household with that of women's religious practices, providing a new avenue of enquiry the history of the church.
Both as God's house and as the dwellings of his monastic and other followers, the history of the church is in part that of an institution conceived as a household. In recent years, secular life and lifestyles in late antiquity and the Middle Ages have been illuminated through renewed attention to the economic and social history of households, while scholarship on women has produced studies of the lives and the devotional reading of laywomen and women religious. This volume is a pioneering collection that unites study of the household with women's religious practices as a focus of enquiry. It moves beyond consideration of the church's roles in women's history to the impact of women's householding on the history of the church.
"Nice surprises wait the reader of this splendid collection. All nine essays in it are smart, interesting, well-written, and genuinely innovative." (L. Bitel, in: The Medieval Review, 07.09.09)