Remarkable Monks and Nuns: Highlights and Lowlights of Medieval Monasticism

Monks and nuns dramatically influenced the middle ages. This lecture explores the highlights and lowlights of medieval monasticism, from great intellectuals to witch-hunters, from radical poverty to great wealth. We’ll investigate characters such as Anthony, the founder of the monastic movement, Simeon, who spent his life on top of a pillar, and the charismatic Savonarola. We’ll look at Hildegard of Bingen, the leading intellectual of her time, and the anchoress and writer Julian of Norwich. We’ll also explore the radical poverty of the Franciscans, and the immense influence of Bernard of Clairvaux and the Cistercians.


This class will be delivered face-to-face at WEA Sydney. Enrolling students need to ensure they have read the current COVID-19 Safety Guidance that WEA Sydney has put in place before enrolling.

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