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Introduction Penelope D. Johnson, The Boswell Thesis, And Negotiating Community And Difference In Medieval Europe

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book titled Negotiating Community and Difference in Medieval Europe, which explores the theme of collective identity and the related dynamics of communal inclusion and exclusion as articulated through and by religious institutions, ritual practices, and rhetoric in the world of medieval Latin Christendom. The book focuses on the role played by monastic communities as centers of social integration. Medievalists widely acknowledge Penelope D. Johnsons place as a pivotal figure in the development of womens religious history and the gendered study of monasticism. The recent publication of a collection entitled The Boswell Thesis: Essays on Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, edited by Mathew Kuefler, demonstrates the continuing interest among medievalists in the complex questions raised by John Boswells work.

Keywords: John Boswell; Mathew Kuefler; medieval Europe; monastic communities; Penelope D. Johnson



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