This collection of essays is the outcome of many years of collaborative work with colleagues and students in the United States and Europe too numerous to name here – but still, thank you, fellow academic travelers. At key moments, listening to and learning from women and men committed to a contemplative way of life deepened my understanding. As always, I am grateful to Judith Sutera, OSB, for her dry wit, erudite insights, and for keeping us secular academics at Kalamazoo on our toes; to Annette Esser and Avis Glendenen, for asking where the women are. Being in place has been neither foreground nor background, but ground and grounding. The presence, simultaneously faint and strongly insistent, of medieval consciousness encapsulated in hewn rock, carved wood, ink, city maps, landscapes, and various art work in places such as Marburg, Bingen, Maria Medingen, and Antwerp inspired, evoked, and posed questions. Nothing in this collection could have been written without the impact of feminism on the academy, whose second wave carried me through graduate school onto the shores of independent academic work.
For chapter one, special thanks and my collaborative and inspirational debt belong to E. Ann Matter and Michael Sells; for chapter five, to Gary Ljungquist, Sharon Farmer and Carol Pasternack, for chapter seven, to Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Duncan Robertson, and Nancy Bradley Warren ← ix | x → in terms of academic dialogue, and to the nuns at Maria Edingen for inviting me and for keeping Margarete Ebner’s presence alive; for chapter eight, to Juliette...
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