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In The Third Gender, McDaniel addresses the idea of the "third gender" in early hagiography and Latin treatises on virginity and then examines Ælfric's treatment of gender in his translations of Latin monastic Lives for his non-monastic audiences. She first investigates patristic ideas about a "third gender" by describing this concept within the theoretical frameworks of monasticism provided by the four Latin Doctors and illustrated in the early Latin Lives of Roman martyrs, revealing the importance of memory in the construction of the monastic "third gender." In the second section McDaniel turns to creating a historical and theological cultural context within which to locate an interpretation of Ælfric's portrayals of male and female saints in his Old English translations of Lives of Saints, applying this context to Ælfric's Lives and providing insights into the ideas about monastic gender that Ælfric translated (or declined to translate) for his non-monastic audience.
Medieval Institute Publications
Aelfric, hagiography, gender, virginity, Anglo-Saxons
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | History of Gender | Literature in English, British Isles | Medieval History | Medieval Studies