Brides of Christ
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Throughout the long history of Irish Monasticism, the experience of women monastics has, until recently, been relatively sidelined. A desire to redress this inspired the decision in 2021 to dedicate the fifth Glentel History Conference to exploring the various ways in which women responded to the monastic and ascetic vocation in medieval and early modern Ireland. Whether as practitioners or as patrons, women found creative and dynamic ways to pursue their calling as ‘Brides of Christ’ between the fifth and the seventeenth centuries, often in the face of tremendous difficulties and challenges. Their lives of prayer and service are sometimes hard to glimpse but the combined interdisciplinary perspectives of these essays brings them into sharper focus. The collection also demonstrates the current vitality of research on this topic and includes contributions by both established and emerging scholars, while situating it in a broader European and ecclesial context.