Skip to main content
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    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
Summary

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.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Women's Writing
  • Online ISBN: 9780511999123
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL052179188X
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×