Cover image of Monastic Life: the title of the series, in white text, on a background image of stone carving on the exterior of a cathedral

Monastic Life and Venerated Spaces

Western Michigan University has a longstanding interest in medieval monasticism, as epitomized by its Center for Cistercian and Monastic Studies.

Series introduction

A cloister garden, with a fountain, hedges, and a variety of flowering plants growing within a courtyard formed by stone walls with complex Gothic tracery and windows.

"Pandhof next to the Dom Church." Photo by Bart van Leeuwen / Flickr (cropped from original). CC BY 2.0.

This series examines monastic movements amid broader religious and cultural traditions. It explores the everyday life of monastic individuals, the collective experience of religious communities, and the nature of asceticism and monasticism, as well as monastic institutions, patronage, and spaces and landscapes central to ascetic traditions, including sites of veneration. The series also welcomes research on monastic and ascetic communities and traditions from around the world during the period 500-1500 CE.

Keywords: Monasticism; asceticism; sacred landscape; sacred space; mysticism; veneration sites

Geographical scope: Global

Chronological scope: 500-1500 CE

See forthcoming titles in this series.

Series editorial board

To submit a proposal or completed manuscript to be considered for publication by Medieval Institute Publications or to learn more about Monastic Life, please contact Tyler Cloherty, the acquisitions editor for the series.

The series' Editorial Board comprises:

  • Aneilya Barnes, Coastal Carolina University

  • Jacob Abell, Baylor University


Cover image of The Cistercian Monastery of Zaraka, Greece: An image of a ruined monastery in the midground, a hazy mountain in the background, and a herd of sheep in the foreground surrounded by a tan border.

The Cistercian Monastery of Zaraka, Greece

Edited by Sheila Campbell

An archaeological study of the monastery of Zaraka in Greece, built and developed by Cistercian monks for forty years during the Frankish Crusader period.

ISBN 978-1-58044-244-2 (clothbound) © 2018

Buy The Cistercian Monastery of Zaraka, Greece at ISD

Cover image of Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Dom Edmond Obrecht Collection of Gethsemani Abbey

Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Dom Edmond Obrecht Collection of Gethsemani Abbey

Edited by Susan M. B. Steuer and E. Rozanne Elder

This catalogue describes an American manuscript collection owned by the Trappist abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky (the house of Thomas Merton) the eclectic collection includes medieval manuscripts as well as materials of interest for the study of the French Revolution.

ISBN 978-1-58044-222-0 (clothbound) © 2016

Buy Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Dom Edmond Obrecht Collection of Gethsemani Abbey at ISD

Forthcoming in this series

Female Italian Saints, 1200-1400: Pious Practice, Identity, Fellowship

By Andrea Rebecca Boffa

Using the vitae of thirty women deemed holy by their contemporary communities, this book analyzes the spiritual landscape these women inhabited, and how they circulated through religious and lay environments. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries marked a period of proliferation of Italian female saints, and their vitae present a wide variety of religious practice and experiences. This book aims to track the function and structure of lay women’s experiences, challenges, and opportunities within urban Italy.