The shaken-up world of the late-fourteenth century witnessed various individuals taking up new spaces and assuming new authority. One phenomenon was the emergence of non-elite laywomen who asserted that, though they lacked education or clerical training, they possessed secret knowledge of future events. In this lecture, I consider how women asserted and justified claims to prophecy. Of particular interest are the careers of Constance of Rabastens and Marie Robine. Both Constance and Marie transcended the expectations for spiritual females, entering traditionally male clerical prophetic territory by claiming scriptural authority and eschatological insights about the approach of the Antichrist. By considering the ways that Constance and Marie “transgressed” gender expectations, I attempt to elucidate how prophecy acted as a new tool employed by women to affect change.
Frances Courtney Kneupper is a scholar of late medieval spirituality and associate professor of history at The University of Mississippi. She is currently a Senior Core Fellow at the IAS at CEU. Her book, The Empire at the End of Time: Identity and Reform in Late Medieval Germany, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. She has published several articles on prophecy and dissent, including “Combating Heretical Calculations of the End Times: The 1465 Quaestio quodlibetalis of Johannes Dorsten,” in New Perspectives on Late Medieval Heresy, and the “The Wirsberger Brothers: Contesting Spiritual Authority Through Prophecy,” in Peoples of the Apocalypse/Völker der Endzeit. She is currently working on a monograph on the contest over prophecy in the late Middle Ages.
Meeting ID: 981 3811 8684