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By Cate Gunn

Ancrene Wisse and Vernacular Spirituality within the center a while is an creation to the Ancrene Wisse—an very important thirteenth-century consultant for recluses who, for non secular purposes, withdrew from secularity with a purpose to lead an ascetic and  prayer-oriented existence. This quantity considers the wide spiritual context during which the Ancrene Wisse was once written and broadens that context by way of addressing problems with readership, drawing comparisons among lay piety and sermons, and tough a number of the 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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Extra info for Ancrene Wisse: From Pastoral Literature to Vernacular Spirituality

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As in Ancrene Wisse, the reader is advised to think on the pains of Hell and the rewards of Heaven. 50 The final part of the text is an extended meditation on the Passion and Crucifixion, taken largely from the Gospel accounts. Although it took a different form, the rise in anchoritism in England in the thirteenth century should be seen as a response 45 02Wisse Pt 1 13/12/07 9:49 Page 46 THE RELIGIOUS CONTEXT to the same combination of social and religious factors as led to the development of the women’s religious movement and, in particular, the beguines, on the Continent.

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. 5 James of Vitry had spent many years as an Augustinian canon acting as the confessor of Mary of Oignies, who was at the centre of the new religious movement in Belgium and considered to be a precursor of the beguine way of life; after her death in 1213, he wrote a life of Mary of Oignies, in which he presented her and other holy women of Liège as models of holiness and the female religious life.

22 Christina of Markyate, an anchoress in the twelfth century, is recorded as being fearful of what she should say at her consecration as a virgin since, although she ‘was not conscious of having fallen either in deed or in desire, she was chary of asserting that she had escaped unscathed’. 23 This fear may have been due to the debate on intention going on in the schools;24 certainly, there is a concern with the mental state that accompanied sins, and whether one could be responsible for involuntary bodily sensations.

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