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Sanctimoniales (SANCT 2)
A. B. Mulder-Bakker
The Dedicated Spiritual Life of Upper Rhine Noble Women
A Study and Translation of a Fourteenth-Century Spiritual Biography of Gertrude Rickeldey of Ortenberg and Heilke of Staufenberg

XIV+271 p., 1 b/w ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2017
ISBN: 978-2-503-57431-8
Languages: English
The publication is in production.The publication is in production. (02/2018)
Retail price: EUR 80,00 excl. tax
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A study, edition, and translation of the story of two independent Upper Rhine women living a spiritual life together.

Lady Gertrude Rickeldey of Ortenberg (d. 1335) was a noble widow who lived a spiritual, but secular life in her own household, first in Offenburg and later in Strasbourg, the economic and cultural heart of southern Germany. Her life story was written by a lay woman from Gertrude’s entourage and was based on numerous stories told by Gertrude’s lifelong companion, Heilke of Staufenberg (d. after 1335). The biographer gives us a view of the aristocratic household, reports the many conversations that the women held with fellow believers and learned mendicants, and shows how they led a life of devotion in their own home,  but at the same time, operated as full citizens of the city, taking part in both the civic and religious politics of Strasbourg. The details of her account reveal that the women did not take vows or renounce their possessions. They did not abandon their own decision-making power. Instead, they were mistresses of their own lives and developed into ethicae of stature.

Following historical investigations into Gertrude’s and Heilke’s life (Part I) is an edition and translation of the fourteenth-century text on which these studies are based (Part II).


Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations

Part I: Study

Gertrude Rickeldey of Ortenberg and Heilke of Staufenberg: Two Upper Rhine Noble Women Seeking Religious Perfection

Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker, Translation Robert Olsen

  • Introduction
  • Sources
  • Historical Background: Lives of Gertrude Rickeldey of Ortenberg and Heilke Of Staufenberg
  • Poor Sisters in an Ascetic Domestic Household:A Home for Religious Formation and Communication
  • Heralds of Divine Love on the Upper Rhine
  • House of Souls

Part II: Edition and Translation

The Saintly Life of the Blessed Lady Rickeldey, Named Gertrude, and the Great Wonders Our Dear Lord Accomplished with Her, By an Anonymous Female Author

Translated from the Manuscript by Gertrud Jaron Lewis and Tilman Lewis, Edited and Annotated by Michael Hopf, Freimut Löser, and Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker




Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Christian devotion & forms of religious expression
Devotional literature (general)
Christian Church : religious orders
Women's orders (nunneries, beguinages etc.)
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : genres & specific topics
Women's & gender studies

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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