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The Corpus Christi Devotion

Gender, Liturgy, and Authority among Dominican Nuns in Castile in the Middle Ages

Mercedes Pérez Vidal

Although well known in the case of Poor Clares or Cistercian nuns, the development of Corpus Christi devotion and liturgy in the Dominican nunneries has not been hitherto studied. This article analyzes these issues in the particular case of Dominican nuns in medieval Castile. The article discusses the role of these women in the development of devotional and liturgical performance, the artistic and architectonic consequences and peculiarities of the devotion of Corpus Christi, the changes in monastic spaces that resulted from it, and, finally, the use of Corpus Christi as a means of empowerment by some aristocratic nuns and foundresses.