Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Silence and Sign Language in Medieval Monasticism
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 11
  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Buy the print book

Book description

Silence and Sign Language in Medieval Monasticism explores the rationales for religious silence in early medieval abbeys and the use of nonverbal forms of communication among monks when rules of silence forbade them from speaking. After examining the spiritual benefits of personal silence as a form of protection against the perils of sinful discourse in early monastic thought, this work shows how the monks of the Abbey of Cluny (founded in 910 in Burgundy) were the first to employ a silent language of meaning-specific hand signs that allowed them to convey precise information without recourse to spoken words. Scott Bruce discusses the linguistic character of the Cluniac sign language, its central role in the training of novices, the precautions taken to prevent its abuse, and the widespread adoption of this custom in other abbeys throughout Europe, which resulted in the creation of regionally specific idioms of this silent language.

Reviews

'… Bruce is an informative and insightful guide. … [an] instructive and perceptive study.'

Source: Journal of Ecclesiastical History

'This is a smart and lively book. A brief summary cannot discuss at length its important sub-themes, including the pedagogical and acculturating purposes of the Cluniac lexicon and its variations, the essential unity underlying apparently diverse developments in religious life in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and the deep influence of Cluniac practice across Europe.'

Source: The American Historical Review

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.
×

Contents

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.