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Table of Contents number 2, 2020, July-December

Edoardo Ferrarini
«Arcana germanitas»: matrimonio, aristocrazia e ideali ascetici nei primi secoli del cristianesimo

Between the end of the 4 th and the beginning of the 5 th century, when the monastic movement also spread in the West, numerous members of Roman senatorial aristocratic families were attracted to ascetic practices, including the experience of conjugal continence, i.e. a chaste cohabitation within the context of licit marriage. This paper presents the case of Paulinus of Nola and Therasia and aims to analyse the literary descriptions of conjugal continence in Paulinus’ correspondence. It examines in particular Ep. 18 to Victricius, Bishop of Rouen, Ep. 44 to Aper and Amanda and Ep. 51 addressed to Eucher, the future Bishop of Lyon, and to his wife Galla. Once monasticism gained a firmer foothold, it became the natural forum for asceticism, experienced in seclusion from the world and in a strict isolation from the other sex.

Emanuele Fontana
L’ingresso dei coniugi negli ordini mendicanti nel Duecento

This paper examines the first results of a research concerning the entry of spouses into the Mendicant Orders in the Middle Ages. In particular, it focuses on the Friars Minor and Preachers in the thirteenth century. The cases examined reveal that there were frequently “families in religionµ rather than “spouses in religionµ. Moreover, it seems that in the first instance the choice of entry into religion was often made by the head of the family.

Maria Clara Rossi – Martina Cameli
Mogli e mariti negli ospedali medievali italiani

The essay examines numerous examples of married couples who, without interrupting their married life, chose to devote themselves to God through ancient forms of oblatio, dedicatio, offersio or redditio, thus interpreting the “religiousness of worksµ that characterized lay spirituality in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The protagonists of these acts of devotion, which recur throughout the history of Christianity, sometimes renounced their material possessions and opted for a life of poverty; at times, however, they reserved for themselves the right to use these goods during their lifetimes, donating them only after their death to the hospitals where they had chosen to reside and with which they had created bonds of dependence. Surveys carried out in Italian hospitals, including lepers’ hospitals, show that lay married couples were an ever-present component of such communities.

Emanuele Curzel
Mogli e mariti a S. Maria di Campiglio (secoli XIII-XVI)

The late medieval documentation of the monastery/hospital of St. Mary’s of Campiglio, in the west of the Trento diocese, provides information about the entry and presence of married couples in it. After donating their estates to the church, wives and husbands vowed to remain there. The essay examines the documents related to this and endeavours to understand the reasons behind their decisions.

Anna Esposito
Coniugi in religione: Roma (secoli XV-XVI)

Only two notary deeds concerning the separation of spouses in order for for one or both of them to enter a religion have been found in the late medieval documentation of Rome: the case of a converted Jewess, married to a Christian, and from whom her husband was dispensed in 1537, in order to be locked up in the Lateran basilica, and of the affair concerning Friar Cesario de Ursinis, who separated from his wife in order to enter the Augustinian order, while his consort was to become an Augustinian tertiary; finally, we mention St. Francesca Romana, who was dispensed by her husband from the debitum coniugalem while continuing to live with him until her death.

Maria Chiara Giorda
Coniugi in monastero: un caso contemporaneo, tra corpo e spirito, ai limiti dell’ortodossia

Despite the age-old prohibition and the attempt to regulate monasticism within an institutional structure, the cohabitation of genders in Eastern Orthodox monasticism has continued over the centuries. This article investigates the monastery of the “New Jerusalemµ in Romania, established in the early nineteen-nineties and inhabited by a mixed community of men and women following a rigorous and innovative ascetic life. This gender cohabitation has favoured the construction of a spiritual monastic family, in which the presence of spouses strengthens such spiritual ties. Within the framework of the literature on contemporary monasticism, this case study is analyzed by means of an examination of historical and canonical sources, in particular those produced by the community, and by an analysis of television interviews, newspaper articles, statements by connoisseurs, visitors and former members of the monastery.

Edoardo FerrariniMaria Clara Rossi
Postfazione Coniugi in religione: un primo e provvisorio bilancio