Gender and Self-Representation in Bernard of Clairvaux's Sermons on the Song of Songs : Performing the Bride by Line Cecilie Engh [epub, pdf, doc, kindle]

Gender and Self-Representation in Bernard of Clairvaux's Sermons on the Song of Songs : Performing the Bride ePub, PDF, Kindle, Doc versions Available In this analysis of Bernard of Clairvaux's famous Sermons on the Song of Songs, gendered imagery is treated, for the first time, as an interpretative key. Through close readings of Bernard's text and through the rich array of recent medieval studies on sex and gender, this book challenges familiar interpretations of body, gender, and asceticism, disrupting the commonplace view of medieval monasticism as desexualized and un-gendered. Bernard not only interprets, but also embodies or actualizes the figure of the bride, generating images of celibacy as erotic pleasure and monks as fecund and female. Through his performance, Bernard provides a hermeneutical model on which he patterns himself and his audience, the Cistercian choir monk. By analyzing the rhetorical functions of Bernard's female self-representation, the author explores how complex and varied female images in the text are absorbed into the bridal role - lactating mother, ecstatic virgin, weeping widow, needy girl. By appropriating femaleness, Bernard transformed the Cistercian cloister into an inverted world that anticipated eschatological restoration and salvation. In this parallel monastic reality, the book argues, males performed all parts while gender hierarchy was upheld to establish notions of superior and inferior, worldly and heavenly, humility and sublimity. The male-female duality in this language is not one of equality, but was rather forged into a hermeneutical hierarchy in which, ultimately, a fully Christomimetic man both appropriates and negates femaleness.

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eBook info

  • Title: Gender and Self-Representation in Bernard of Clairvaux's Sermons on the Song of Songs : Performing the Bride
  • Author:
  • Publisher: Brepols N.V.
  • ISBN: 978-2503550039
  • Release date: 14.10.2014
  • 458 pages
  • Archive include: ePub, PDF, doc, kindle versions