BRILL Abstract CHRC 88.4 (2008) 493-5I2 Women as Benefactors at Catalan Benedictine Nunneries Michelle Herder Church History and ReligiousCulture www.brill.nllchrc This study explores secular women's gift-giving to women's monasteries as well as other institutions, through the records of two late medieval Catalan Benedictine nunneries. It examines the ways in which female donors to the nunneries created permanent legacies and affected the nuns' daily existence. From the evidence of women's wills, the study also examines women's gifts to a wider range of religious and charitable institutions. The wills tend to fall into one of a few patterns, with some female testators prioritizing legacies for their families, and others giving the bulk of their goods to charity. Keywords Women, Catalonia, patronage, charity, piety It is well known that medieval monasteries relied on donations of land and other forms of income from lay patrons. For many monastic communities, support £rom great nobles was valuable, but only occasional, and most of their resources came £rom people of more modest means. For these people, as for the more wealthy, gifts to monasteries helped to form relationships and connections among donors and recipients. The links between monasteries and the middling and lower ranks of
Church History and Religious Culture (formerly Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: PIETY; PATRONAGE; CATALONIA; CHARITY; WOMEN
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