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  • Cited by 2
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    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    TINKLE 2010. Contested Authority: Jerome and the Wife of Bath on 1 Timothy 2. The Chaucer Review, Vol. 44, Issue. 3, p. 268.

    Tinkle, Theresa 2010. Gender and Power in Medieval Exegesis. p. 17.

  • Print publication year: 2003
  • Online publication date: May 2006

9 - Beneath the pulpit

from Part II - Texts and other spaces

A sharp impression of medieval women's role 'beneath the pulpit' in the sense 'subjected to the institutional power of the Church' is first implied, and then defied, in Chaucer's Friar's Tale. This tale criticizes the abuse of ecclesiastical law to extort money from a woman. It is introduced by the Friar after he has ostensibly complimented the Wife of Bath on her learning, but urged her to leave discussion of serious moral matters to expert preachers and religious educators (male, university-trained, such as himself). Following this reassertion of masculine control of the theological domain the Friar proceeds to a tale expressly concerned with contested jurisdiction in which, however, an old woman unexpectedly has the final say. It will be useful to dwell on this tale by way of introduction to a chapter devoted to the rights, limitations, rituals, and contributions of women in relation to Mother Church.

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The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Women's Writing
  • Online ISBN: 9780511999123
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