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FT-249219-16Research Programs: Summer StipendsNicole Danielle SmithA Christian Mannes Bileeve: A Critical Edition of a Middle English Commentary on the Apostle's Creed6/1/2016 - 7/31/2016$6,000.00NicoleDanielleSmith   University of North TexasDentonTX76203-5017USA2016Medieval StudiesSummer StipendsResearch Programs6000060000

A scholarly edition of A Christian Mannes Bileeve, a 14th-century commentary on the Apostles' Creed written in Middle English.

My project is a critical edition of A Christian Mannes Bileeve (CMB), which Middle English Texts (Heidelberg, Germany) has agreed to publish. CMB is an unpublished and unedited vernacular explanation of the Apostles’ Creed. Its place at the beginning of a long and popular tradition of commentaries on the Creed that extends into the 17th century position it as a seminal text that documents the human condition and its relation to literacy and theology. In particular, CMB presents women as having a licit stake in theological argument. All four surviving manuscripts provide evidence of spiritual prose written for--and perhaps even by--religious women, thus placing them at the center of a complex and nuanced literary playing field informed by vigorous theological debate in late 14th-century England. CMB accordingly stands to influence the way we understand the intersection between women’s literacy and vernacular theology as England found itself on the cusp of intense religious reform.