Call for papers for an edited book on ‘Female religion and practices in Late Antiquity and early Medieval Christianity’, deadline 14th November 2022

This edited volume aims to bring an interdisciplinary view on how women were living and practicing Christianity from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle ages (from the III to XII century). The volume expects to bring together articles dealing with how women perceived and practiced Christianity in their own or shared spaces; how their practices differed from the norm, or were perceived by their peers or religious authorities; and how women can be perceived as agents of religious transformations.

The aim of the volume is to demonstrate the diversity of what could have been the female religious identity of Late Antique and Early Medieval individuals through their own practices (as perceived by others or described by themselves). Therefore, the book will focus on the religious experience of lay and religious women.

Possible approaches:

  • Prescriptions for female behaviour from religious rules and ecclesiastical text: how a women should behave in the Church, what a virtuous Christian women should and should not do;
  • Female heretics: the role of women in heresies (Priscillianism, Montanism, Manichaeism, ecc.);
  • The space and role of women in private religion;
  • Female spaces and places of cult;
  • Female iconography and material culture related to Christian practices (everyday objects, epigraphy, ecc);

• Female Christian burials, funerary practices and their social and cultural meanings;

• Female martyrs and hagiography;

• The involvement of women in Christian practices: their presence in Mass, preaching as a women, female priesthood, women and the cult of saints and martyrs (in early Christianity women were often associated with these cults and were reputed as responsible for their excesses), women pilgrims;

• Unorthodox female practices as perceived by Christian authorities and their condemnation: magic, poisoning, curing practices, ecc;

  • Hybrid practices (Christian practices that incorporated influences from other religions).

Abstracts of 200-300 words and a short bio should be sent to by 14th of November 2022.

Please note that if your abstract is retained to be a fit contribution to the volume, it will be part of a book proposal. Even though a preliminary draft of the book received a positive feedback from the editorial board, an official proposal still need to be sent. Therefore, the book will need to receive an official thumbs up in order to really happen.

Submission of accepted chapters, of 7000-9000 words including bibliography, are provisionally anticipated for Late Summer-Early Autumn 2023.


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: