St. Catherine Criticism - Essay

Edmund G. Gardner (essay date 1907)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "Catherine's Literary Work," in Saint Catherine of Siena: A Study in the Religion, Literature and History of the Fourteenth Century in Italy, J. M. Dent and Company and E. P. Dutton and Company, 1907, pp. 353-850.

[In the excerpt that follows, Gardner places Catherine of Siena's literary work within the context of Christian mysticism as well as within more mainstream theology.]

"Anco vi prego che il Libro e ogni scrittura la quale trovaste di me, voi e frate Bartolomeo e frate Tomaso e il Maestro, ve le rechiate per le mani; e fatene quello che vedete che sia piu onore di Dio, con missere Tomaso insieme: nel quale io trovava alcuna...

(The entire section is 9380 words.)

Suzanne Noffke (essay date 1980)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Introduction to Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue, by St. Catherine of Siena, translated by Suzanne Noffke, Paulist Press, 1980, pp. 1-22.

[In the following excerpt, Noffke examines Catherine of Siena's ecstatic experiences as they are articulated in her writings and recorded by her contemporaries.]

What, in terms of human inheritance, were the springs of Catherine's knowledge and teaching? She had no formal schooling. Just how extensively she read is not certain, but she was a tireless conversationalist. She never wrote what could be called theology reduced to a system; in fact, it is her lack of an established system that lends her writings their...

(The entire section is 2130 words.)

Cornelia Wolfskeel (essay date 1989)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "Catherine of Siena," in A History of Women Philosophers, Volume II. Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment Women Philosophers, A.D. 500-1600, edited by Mary Ellen Waithe, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989, pp. 223-60.

[In the excerpt that follows, Wolfskeel discusses Il Dialogo and the Orazioni, both of which express Catherine of Siena's unique understanding of her relationship with the divine.]

… 2. Il Dialogo

Il Dialogo, simply called "my book" by Catherine herself, came to existence in the period 1377-1378.69 It is a dialogue with God who, questioned by Catherine, instructs her and...

(The entire section is 7096 words.)

Karen Scott (essay date 1993)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "'Io Catarina': Ecclesiastical Politics and Oral Culture in the Letters of Catherine of Siena," in Dear Sister: Medieval Women and the Epistolary Genre, edited by Karen Cherewatuk and Ulrike Wiethaus, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993, pp. 87-121.

[In the following essay, Scott concentrates on Catherine of Siena's Epistolario (her letters) as "examples of female activism," arguing that Catherine used her letters as a means of furthering both her religious and political causes.]

It is May 6, 1379. Rome is divided by a civil war into camps supporting two contending Popes, Urban VI and Clement VII. The mercenary soldiers of the Company of St....

(The entire section is 14224 words.)