The Openness of the Enclosed Convent: Evidence from the Lüne Letter Collection

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This article draws on the nearly 1800 letters which survive
from the Benedictine convent of Lüne, near Lüneburg in northern
Germany, and were written between c. 1460 and 1555. It explores the
textual and visual strategies which nuns in the later Middle Ages used
to negotiate their enclosed status. It suggests that the language and
imagery of openness were a means for the nuns to remind those outside
the convent wall of their presence and purpose in life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOpenness in Medieval Europe
EditorsManuele Gragnolati, Almut Suerbaum
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherICI Berlin Press
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameCultural Inquiry


  • convents
  • nuns
  • enclosure
  • letters
  • reform
  • Reformation
  • Lüne

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