Retrieving a living tradition: The recovery of the historical significance of Angelina of Montegiove as Franciscan tertiary, Italian beguine, and leader of women

1996 1996

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Angelina of Montegiove (d. 1435) stands as a major figure in Franciscan women's history and in the development of Tertiary (Third Order) Observance in the Franciscan tradition. The dissertation recovers and analyzes hagiographic materials written about Angelina two centuries after her death, as well as other versions of her "life" dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It focuses on details of the biographies, examining with a hermeneutic of suspicion various representative texts. Both deconstructive and reconstructive purposes are present.

Contextual developments within Franciscan history in the Quattrocento are placed against a backdrop of Church history so that clarity is brought to the importance of Angelina between 1395-1435--the years in which she established a particular form of Third Order Franciscan life in Italy. Internal resources, the "collective memory" of the present community descended from Angelina, are used to fill in the omissions in traditional interpretations of Angelina's significance as an Italian beguine and Franciscan tertiary.

Angelina's form of life extended across Europe, even into Poland in the mid-fifteenth century. The dissertation investigates the founding moment of Tertiary Observance in Poland, the proliferation of Third Order houses there between 1454-1626, and the unenclosed nature of life in these houses until 1617. It also presents the story of enforced enclosure and the monasticization of Third Order women in Poland who became known as Bernardine Sisters. Lastly, the work traces the internal tradition of Angelina's story as it was transmitted in the Polish community and in the foundation that arrived in the United States in 1894.

The method of analysis and reconstruction follows the path of feminist theology, i.e., a method of correlation in which one pole is the Franciscan tradition and the other pole is the experience of women in patriarchal cultures of Italy and Poland.

Indexing (details)

Religious history;
Middle Ages;
Womens studies;
0320: Religious history
0469: Theology
0581: Middle Ages
0453: Womens studies
0304: Biographies
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Franciscans; Third Order; women religious
Retrieving a living tradition: The recovery of the historical significance of Angelina of Montegiove as Franciscan tertiary, Italian beguine, and leader of women
McKelvie, Roberta Agnes
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 57/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Cousins, Ewert H.; Gyug, Richard F.
Fordham University
University location
United States -- New York
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.