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[ACADEMIC] An Overlooked Christian Masculinity? The Portrayal of Joseph in the York Mystery Plays

Of the three members of the Holy Family, Joseph–foster-father of Jesus, husband of Mary–may have had the most tenuous existence in the minds of medieval Christians. Jesus was, of course, the central figure of the Christian religion; his mother, the Virgin Mary, was identified as a perfectly moral individual and an object of mass veneration. Joseph, in contrast, faced a much more muted and mixed reception, rarely achieving a mass audience comparable to his two more famous relatives and often subjected to popular mockery. In many mystery plays, for instance, Joseph was identified as a weak old man, his character assimilated to that of the stereotypical medieval cuckold, a man “old, jealous, and prone to subjective emotional outbursts” (Flanigan 21). The three plays of the York cycle where Joseph features prominently–the Pewterers and Founders’ Joseph’s Trouble about Mary, the Tilthatchers’ The Nativity, and the Marshals’ The Flight Into Egypt–all demonstrate these character traits to varying degrees. Although this portrayal of Joseph contradicts much of official Church doctrine, it also challenges the stereotypical gender norms of medieval England. Joseph–the man chosen by God to be foster-father of Jesus–existed much like the Virgin Mary as a problematic role model, as someone whose example upheld the highest moral standards at the same time that his example was practically impossible to follow. In a gendered perspective, power in medieval English society may have been balanced decidedly towards men, but in the York mystery plays the character of Joseph demonstrated how masculine and paternal identities were seen as being inevitably complicated by religion. Indeed, by bringing their viewers in contact with representations of divine history, these plays destabilized the possibilities for unquestioned male supremacy by demonstrating instances where this supremacy needed to be radically modified, allowing for broader definitions of the masculine and paternal social roles lying at the heart of male identity.

he York mystery plays were performances intimately connected to the late medieval English society of their origins. In this society, the dominant ideologies of gender, as articulated by contemporary theologians and philosophers, identified women as beings of inferior capability and morality to men. The growth of classical learning brought the medieval English in contact with the theories of Aristotle, who identified the production of female fetuses in utero as a defect in the biological system of human reproduction and women as deformities, and with Galen, who identified men as more perfect than women on the grounds that men possessed enough of the Hippocratic humour of heat to properly mature. These supplemented the Christian narratives of the Creation and the Fall, which placed responsibility for the expulsion of humanity from paradise on the misbehaviour of Eve, the prototype of all women. Once the classical ideology of gender inferiority had been assimilated into the existing Christian narratives, many commentators began to identify women as a group with flesh and its associated carnal sins and men with superior wisdom and reason. These ideologies explicitly legitimated a structure of gender relations based on the assumption of female intellectual and moral inferiority, requiring male dominance in order to protect individuals of both genders from sin (Rigby 1995: 246-249).

This medieval gender ideology did not manifest itself in a uniform repression of women’s autonomy. Christine de Pisan, once of the most prominent medieval defenders of women against charges of incapacity and immorality, called not for a direct challenge to this ideology but rather for a subversive approach, for “women to demonstrate their patience, humility, and piety and so, through the goodness of their deeds, to make liars of those who attacked them” and to demonstrate that women could be entirely comparable with men by demonstrating a mastery of traditionally female areas of life (Rigby 2000: 138). Working within these areas, women could gain considerable autonomy. Peasant women, for instance, enjoyed a considerable amount of economic autonomy through their participation of domestic industries and their work in harvests (Gies and Gies 145), while in urban areas women played a role in labour-intensive segments of the economy such as the retail and clothing industries as well as domestic service (Rigby 1995: 270-276). From at least the 14th century, Englishwomen organized their own parish guilds in order to provide religious and economic services to their membership (French 404-407). This autonomy, however, was ultimately fragile, depending in the economic sphere upon the existence of an economy both prosperous and wanting in labour, and depending in the social sphere upon the existence of a public culture which accepted the contributions of women as valid. Whenever conditions were lacking in either sphere, the position of women as autonomous actors in public life could prove quite tenuous. Throughout this period, men dominated the construction and maintenance of these gender ideologies, contrasting a necessary female passivity to an equally necessary male dominance (Rigby 1995: 277-278).

The most universally prestigious female figure in medieval English society was the Virgin Mary, exemplar of female virtue. Perhaps inevitably, the Virgin Mary was an unattainable model, since it “would have been sacrilegious to hold Mary up as an example for imperfect human women to model themselves upon, and even Mary’s name was considered too holy for general use, only appearing in England as a Christian name at the end of the twelfth century” (Jewell 23). The Virgin Mary existed as an unattainable paragon of virtue, the natural opposite of Eve. It was possible for many women to acquire significantly greater status; consecrated virgins in particular were considered to be “exempted from women’s general subordination because their destiny was determined by their consecration to Christ rather than to any living man” (Labarge 30). Virginity, though, was a necessary prerequisite for this increased status; female biology itself needed to be denied, while Mary herself being reduced to a passive and voiceless figure (Wood 718-722).

The passivity of the Virgin Mary in the established Christian tradition and its consequences for women, however, existed in the context of abundant religious traditions which drew from reasonably plentiful traditions recorded in the New Testament. The position of her husband Joseph in the source texts of the medieval Christian tradition and its implications for men were substantially less clear, simply because of the lack of textual evidence. Within the New Testament, both Matthew (Matthew 1:1-19) and Luke (Luke 3: 23-28) provide genealogies which identify Joseph as an individual who traces his ancestry directly from David. In terms of his personality, Joseph is described as a “righteous man,” unwilling to expose [Mary] to public disgrace (Matthew 1:19) but hoping to privately divorce her. He is convinced not to abandon Mary by a divine visitation, demonstrating to him that Mary’s pregnancy is indeed legitimate, a miracle produced by God’s will in order to conceive a “a son [. . . who] will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Matthew further accords Joseph a central role in saving his foster
child from King Herod’s plans for impending slaughter, with angelic visions warning Joseph of the need to flee to Egypt, of the time it was safe to return to the land of Israel, and of the need to find extra security for the messiah and fulfill biblical prophecies by settling in the Galilean town of Nazareth (Matthew 2: 13-23).

The final instance of Joseph in the Bible comes when Jesus reaches the age of 12, when Luke describes the loss and recovery of Jesus when he had strayed during the yearly pilgrimage to the Holy City (Luke 2:42-51). Elsewhere in the Gospels, the writers speak of the Jesus’ mother and brothers (Matthew 12:46; Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19; John 7:3) during Jesus’ adult career but they do not refer to Joseph; at most, they tell us only that during his public career Jesus was referred to as the son of Joseph the carpenter (Matthew 13:55). This absence, along with the entrusting of the Virgin Mary to the care of a disciple by Jesus on the cross (John 19: 26-27), suggests that by the time that Jesus had begun his public career, his foster-father had died, perhaps before Jesus had reached adulthood. “[O]n the shoulders of Jesus thus there fell the chief responsibility for the family. He who had previously been thought of as the carpenter’s son was now the carpenter” (Bowie et al 80).

Outside of the canonical New Testament, other apocryphal texts provided additional information on Joseph, particularly the Protevangelium of James and the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew. The validity of these apocrypha as reliable historical sources was doubted by the Church, not least because of the conspiratorial stories of their origins and because of the way that their narratives conveniently confirmed controversial points of church theology at length. Nonetheless, many apocryphal texts continued to be immensely popular throughout the Middle Ages, perhaps because of the ways in which they expanded on sparse Biblical narrative, providing readers with specific moral and religious examples unavailable in canonical texts.Many believed that stories could be judged in relation to their standing on the issues described in the texts recognized as canonical: “If they do [conflict] they are lies; if they do not they may be read without danger to the soul, perhaps with profit. If the story is not demonstrably false, therefore, judgement as to its acceptability rests upon its religious and moral value” (Nelson 40-41).

The Protevangelium of James gives more information on the circumstances of the marriage of Mary and Joseph. Mary’s birth is described as a divine miracle in response to her mother’s prayers for fertility (Protevangelium 3-4). At the age of three Mary was sent by her parents to be raised in the temple of the Lord. On reaching puberty, the council of the temple’s priests resolved to remove Mary from the temple to avoid contamination by marrying her to a widower, to be indicated by a divine sign. Joseph was so indicated.

[T]he priest said unto Joseph: Unto thee hath it fallen to take the virgin of the Lord and keep her for thyself. And Joseph refused, saying: I have sons, and I am an old man, but she is a girl [twelve years of age]: lest I become a laughing-stock to the children of Israel. And the priest said unto Joseph: Hear the Lord thy God, and remember what things God did unto Dathan and Abirma and Korah, how the earth clave and they were swallowed up because of their gainsaying. And now fear thou, Joseph, lest it be son in thine house. And Joseph was afraid, and took her to keep her for himself (Protevangelium 9: 1-2).

This narrative is reinforced by the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, which provides the additional detail that Joseph took the young Mary into his custody, claiming that he would “be her guardian until I can ascertain concerning the will of God, as to which of my sons can have her as his wife” (Pseudo-Matthew 8:4). Mary was impregnated during a nine-month-long period when Joseph was absent, working as a carpenter in coastal Palestine (Pseudo-Matthew 10). Joseph and Mary are arrested and put on trial by Mary’s temple–Joseph for violating the virginity of the young Mary, Mary for consenting in this violation–but each individually received confirmation of their innocence in her pregnancy. Joseph’s justification before the broader Jewish community provides additional support for the way in which “Christian tradition [came] to view Joseph as an elderly widower [and that] later, he came to be seen as a saintly ascetic with no interest in sex” (Sellew 382). In subsequent chapters of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, Joseph is portrayed as a relatively weak father, not only unable upon the Holy Family’s return from exile in Egypt to keep his young foster-child from wishing death upon his playmates and teachers, but even demonstrating incompetence in his profession:

Joseph was a carpenter, and used to make nothing else of wood but ox-yokes, and ploughs, and implements of husbandry, and wooden beds. And it came to pass that a certain young man ordered him to make for him a couch six cubits long. And Joseph commanded his servant to cut the wood with an iron according to the measure which he had sent. But he did not keep to the prescribed measure, but made one piece of wood shorter than the other. And Joseph was in perplexity, and began to consider what he was to do about this. [. . .] Jesus took hold of the other ends of the pieces of wood, and drew the shorter piece to Him, and made it of the same length as the longer one. And He said to Joseph: Go and work, and do what thou hast promised to do. And Joseph did what he had promised (Pseudo-Matthew 37)

Joseph’s portrayal as an aged and somewhat superfluous in the Protevangelium of James and the Gospel of the Pseudo-Matthew is reflected in the three York passion plays where his character features. Joseph’s Trouble about Mary reflects the complaints of Joseph in both apocryphal texts, beginning with his complaint that his age made his marriage impossible for him to handle from its very beginning:

For now then wend I best have been
At ease and rest by reason ay.
For I am of great eld,
Weak and all unwield,
As ilk man see it may;
I may neither busk ne bield
But either in frith or in field;
For shame what shall I say,

That thus-gates now on mine old days
have wedded a young wench to my wife,
And may not well trine over two straws?
Now Lord, how long shall I lead this life? (1-15).

His psychological turmoil is only worsened by the fact of Mary’s pregnancy. Joseph’s reaction to the pregnancy of Mary is dominated by his concern over his own fate, by the disgrace brought upon him by her pregnancy and by the very real of risk of execution is others do not believe that he is not culpable. Joseph claims to be reluctant to identify Mary, “a clean virgin [. . .] without blame” (59-60), as anything but a virgin, and he does claim knowledge of the biblical prophecy of a virgin birth. He concludes, though, that the virgin “is not she, sikerly,/Forthly I wot I am beguiled” (63-64). In his subsequent confrontation with Mary, Joseph is quite aggressive as he denies her claims of divine impregnation as unfounded and points to her pregnancy as proof of her physical sin. It is only when Joseph, walking in the wilderness, sees a vision of the angel Gabriel that he relents, begging forgiveness of his wife for his mistrust of her claims and preparing to transport his wife to Bethlehem. Throughout Joseph’s Trouble about Mary, Joseph plays mainly a negative role, trying to challenge the integrity of the Biblical narrative as enunciated by Mary and ultimately failing.

The subsequent mystery, The Nativity, begins with Joseph’s lamentation that the only accommodation he and his wife can find in Bethlehem is in an animal stable. Joseph complains that in the stable he and Mary “shall be stormed in this stead,/The walls are down on ilka side,/The roof is raved over our head” (16-18), and that their experience of these conditions will be all the worse since both “are weak and all weary/And fain would rest”(24-25). Mary takes the role in comforting Joseph, reminding him that “God will us wis, full well wit ye” (29) and reminding him that despite their humble circumstances that this stable would see the birth of he “[t]hat shall us save from sorrows sere,/Both even and morn” (32-33). As Joseph laments the cold and fears illness, his wife praises God and professes her joy. Crucially, Joseph’s desire for warmth and light in The Nativity cause him to miss the birth of Jesus while he is outside searching for fuel. His search for is rendered less necessary by the miraculous effects of Jesus’ birth, as Joseph professes surprise at the appearance of the light of the star of Bethlehem and is told by Mary that the infant Jesus has been kept warm by the animals in the barn. Far from contesting the integrity of the Biblical narrative, Joseph’s presence in The Nativity confirms it by providing a witness to the miracle of the infant Jesus’ birth. Joseph, however, does not play a direct role in the events at the core of the mystery play.

Of the three plays where Joseph features, he takes by far the most active and constructive role in the third and final play The Flight Into Egypt, concerned with the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt, away from Herod. Joseph begins by asserting his divinely-assigned role as protector of the young Jesus, proclaiming that he has made tremendous sacrifices to be of service to God:

all this world I have forsaken,
And to thy service I have me taken
With wit and will
For to fulfil
Thy commandment.
Thereon mine heart is set
With grace thou has me lent,
There shall no lede me let (5-12).

This defiant proclamation is subsequently undercut by Joseph’s subsequent admission that “I wax as weak as any wand,/ For feeble me fails both foot and hand/[. . .] Methink mine eyen/Heavy as lead” (16-21). As Joseph lies dreaming, though, he is again visited by the angel Gabriel, who warns him of the need to flee Palestine ahead of Herod’s impending slaughter of the innocents. On awakening, Joseph immediately warns Mary of the need to flee, claiming divine authority. Mary panics at hearing the news; Joseph, however, takes an assertive approach and begins to successfully manage the problem.

We, lief Mary, do way, let be!
I pray the, leave off thy din,
And fand thee forth fast for to flee,
Away with him for to win,
That no mischief on him betide (147-152).

The Flight into Egypt ends with the Holy Family beginning their exodus under Joseph’s guidance. As they leave, Joseph holds the infant Jesus and professes that now he possesses an entirely new strength coming from God:

Ere I was weak, now I am wight.
My limbs to wield ay at my will.
I lof my maker most of might
that such grace has grant me till.
Now shall hathel do us harm,
I have our help here in mine arm (219-224).

Joseph’s development over the course of the three plays from the York mystery cycle from a resentful pseudo-cuckold to a worshipful foster-father of God is remarkable owing to the nature of medieval perspectives on marriage. Although familial, community, and lordly pressures could and did impinge, the Church’s philosophy that all legitimate marriage required “the creation of consent between, and only between, the parties to the marriage” (Schofield 100) remained an active ideal in medieval culture. More, marriages established not on the grounds of mutual affection but exclusively on the grounds of property were commonly identified as psychologically harmful on numerous grounds, with concern for the woman’s chances for motherhood if she married an elderly or inform man. (Gies and Gies 114). As described in the Protoevangelium and the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, the marriage of Joseph and Mary contradicts both of these central traits of the proper marriage. Joseph himself recognizes the immense difference in ages between himself and his young virginal bride, in fact trying to refuse the marriage before he is reminded by the priests of the need to obey God’s demonstrated will at the risk of encountering divine displeasure. According to medieval secular stereotypes, Joseph’s reluctant marriage to a much younger virgin would have been destined to encounter trouble. The Biblical narrative takes great care to ensure that, in the strictest sense of the word, there can be no misunderstanding that Joseph was cuckoled. Joseph’s genealogy in the first chapter of Matthew appears, on first introduction, to be a fairly conventional Biblical genealogical summary. “Over a span of fifteen verses, the reader encounters the formula ‘and [name] was the father of [name]’ (kai . . . egennesem . . .) 39 times in succession, interrupted only occasionally by additional words or phrases. The signal intent of this formula is to establish a genealogical linkage stretching from the beginning of the list to its conclusion” (Weaver 377). At the conclusion of the summary, though, Joseph is denied paternity, being simply identified as the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who was called the Messiah” (Matthew 1:16). Jesus, both in the Biblical narratives and the York mystery plays, is clearly and unmistakably identified as a child born to a non-human divine father.

In medieval English and European thought, Joseph received little respect, or sustained positive attention.

[I]n the fifteenth century Joseph was as yet very far from achieving sainthood. In 1414, Jean Gerson, Chancellor of the University of Paris, who waxed indignant at the prevalent caricature of the drudging and ridiculous Joseph, propagandized for his sanctification at the Council of Constance. However, it was not until 1621 that Pope Gregory XV declared an obligatory feast day in Joseph’s honor and not until the nineteenth century that he was declared a Patriarch of the Church (Vasvari 168-169)

The theological necessity that Jesus’ father be not Joseph but God encouraged many medieval English, already used to comedies centring on elderly husbands and enthusiastically adulterous young wives, to look upon Joseph as a figure of fun. That Joseph was a carpenter only encouraged mockery, as carpentry was a profession frequently associated with imagery of sexual intercourse. Joseph’s professional incompetence as a carpenter, as depicted in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, would have been recognized by medieval observers as a metaphor for his impotence as evidenced by his lack of involvement in the conception of his foster son (Vasvari 168-175). From the perspective of non-theological medieval English observers of the York mystery plays, Joseph could well have been seen as a pitiable figure, unable to be a proper husband or a proper father.

This interpretation, however, is undercut by the fact that in Joseph’s Trouble about Mary, Joseph is given ersatz paternity by Mary’s repeated claims that he child is both his own and God’s. He does the validity of her claims that both he and God are fathers to her unborn child: “I did it never; thou dotest dame, by books and bells!/Full sackless should I bear this blame after thou tells,/For I wrought never in word nor deed/Thing that should mar thy maidenhead,/To touch me till” (179-183). Immediately after this denial, however, in the midst of his anger and concern, Joseph tells Mary that he would raise her child as his own for the sake of peace, the sole condition being that she tell him the name of the man responsible. Joseph’s mistrust of Mary’s words, however, causes him to deny the truth; it is only when he encounters Gabriel, who tells him that the “child that shall be born of her/It is conceived of the Holy Ghost” (266-267), that he feels able to accept Mary’s word and fulfill his promise.

Both apocryphal narratives make it clear that Joseph was specifically selected to be Jesus’ foster-father. As Buttrick observes, the question of Joseph’s basic character must have been essential in his selection.

Joseph was just [bold in original], a word which [. . .] implies both religious scruple and obedience to the will of God. Here the word may also mean sympathy and kindness. He was sensitive to divine visitation–as in his dream–and quick to head the call of the luminous moment. There is cause to assume that he was devoted to Mary and the children of his household. The word ‘Father’ as an ascription for God had been used in the [Old Testament], but the word was infrequent, and it implies national perhaps more than individual relationship. But Jesus used it in ways most intimate (254-256).

Although even the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew provides little information about Joseph’s parenting methods with Jesus as an older child, this, other apocryphal texts, and Joseph’s protective behaviour as recorded in the New Testament strongly suggest that Joseph sought to protect Jesus, as he did his other children. Jesus’ foster-father is recorded as protecting his foster- son from all manner of threats, posed by resentful neighbours, threatening monarchs, and even Jesus’ own childhood errors. If, in the Nativity, Joseph missed the birth of Jesus and demonstrated a lack of faith in the ability of God to provide heat and light, he did so as a consequence of his concern for the comfort of his pregnant wife, and by extension, that of the miraculous child she was carrying, all in an effort to emulate God’s role. Joseph’s consistent acceptance of Jesus as his son allows the messiah to be integrated into a human family, while the selection of Joseph as the foster-father of Jesus had highly beneficial consequences in ensuring that Joseph’s claim of not being Jesus’ father would be more believable. That the apocryphal texts and the mystery plays derived from them describe an elderly Joseph, already a father, helps to minimize the chance of Joseph possessing carnal desires for Mary, in a way that a young childless Joseph would not.

To the extent that Jesus’ birth is product of a pseudo-adulterous relationship, Joseph arguably gains prestige. Rather than Jesus being the offspring of another human being of equal status, the child of Mary is the offspring of a divine father; Joseph’s selection as the social father of a long-awaited messiah represents a profound confirmation of his status. Indeed, for Joseph his wife’s “adulterine child may be seen as providing not the punishment but the prize” (Maclean 790). Joseph’s paternal relationship towards Jesus is positioned, by the fact of his selection, as the worthy culmination of Joseph’s successful career as a husband and a father. The recognition that Joseph–as an individual, as a father, and as a male–receives from his foster-son validates Joseph’s resignation of medieval definitions of masculinity and fatherhood. Joseph’s adoption of variations upon basic social roles deemed marginal in medieval society, in the York cycle, demonstrate the existence of a limited opening to these variations, offering its audiences “the opportunity to both celebrate and resist dominant modes of thought. By representing the mutability of gender and social status in an imagined past, these [. . .] plays demonstrated to both performers and spectators alike that there can always be new roles to assume, different identities to create, and alternate ways to believe and behave” (Wright 166).

In the York cycle of mystery plays, the character of Joseph can be seen evolving from a position of extreme skepticism towards Mary’s claims to one of complete acceptance and support for Mary and the infant Messiah. The specific events occurring in the course of this evolution–including the impregnation of Joseph’s wife by an entity other than himself–were frequently read by the cycle’s medieval audiences to constitute a reduction of Joseph from ideal standards of masculinity and paternity. At the same time, though, medieval audiences watching “Joseph’s Trouble about Mary,” “The Nativity,” and “The Flight Into Egypt” could detect the construction of alternative models of masculinity and paternity, models sanctioned within the context of the plays by the character of Joseph himself, receiving the support of the Church’s theology, and eventually developing a considerable degree of internal coherence and external plausibility. The complete dominance of men over their wives, and the associated concept of male autonomy generally, are demonstrated by Joseph’s example to be concepts both unworkable and unnecessary in the context of a moral universe transcending parochial human traditions and desires.

Anonymous. “Joseph’s Trouble About Mary.” York Mystery Plays: A Selection in Modern Spelling. Ed. by Richard Beadle and Pamela M. King. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999. 48-58.

Anonymous. “The Nativity.” York Mystery Plays: A Selection in Modern Spelling. Ed. by Richard Beadle and Pamela M. King. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999. 59-64.

Anonymous. “The Flight into Egypt.” York Mystery Plays: A Selection in Modern Spelling. Ed. by Richard Beadle and Pamela M. King. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999. 79-87.

Bowie, Walter Russell, John Knox, George Arthur Buttrick, Paul Scherer. “The Gospel According to St. Luke: Exposition.” The Interpreter’s Bible. Ed. George Arthur Buttrick. 12 vols. New York: Abingdon Press, 1951. Vol 8. 26-434.

Buttrick, George A. “The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Exposition.” The Interpreter’s Bible. Ed. George Arthur Buttrick. 12 vols. New York: Abingdon Press, 1951. Vol 7. 250-625.

Flanigan, Tom. “Everyman or Saint? Doubting Joseph in the Corpus Christi Cycles.” Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 8 (1996): 19-29.

French, Catherine L. “Maiden’s Lights and Wives’ Stores: Women’s Parish Guilds in Late Medieval England.” Sixteenth Century Journal 29.2 (1998): 399-425.

Gies, Francis and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village. New Yorker: Harper & Row, 1990.

Jewell, Helen M. Women in medieval England. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1996.

Labarge, Margaret Wade. Women in Medieval Life: A Small Sound of the Trumpet. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1986.

Maclean, Marie. “The Heirs of Amphitryon: Social Fathers and Natural Fathers.” New Literary History 26.4 (1995): 787-807

Nelson, William. “The Boundaries of Fiction in the Renaissance: A Treaty Between Truth and Falsehood.” ELH 36.1 (March 1969): 30-58.

Rigby, S.H. English Society in the Later Middle Ages: Class, Status, and Gender. London: MacMillan, 1995.

Rigby, S.H. “The Wife of Bath, Christine de Pizan, and te Medieval Case for Women.” The Chaucer Review 35.2 (2000): 133-165.

Schofield, Philipp R. Peasant and Community in Medieval England 1200-1500. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003.

Sellew, Philip. “Joseph (Husband of Mary).” The Oxford Companion to the Bible. Ed. by Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan. 1 vol. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993. 382.

Vasvari, Louise O. “Joseph on the Margin: The Merode Tryptic and Medieval Spectacle.” Mediaevalia 18 (1995): 162-187.

Weaver, Dorothy Jean. “Rewriting the Messianic Script: Matthew’s Account of the Birth of Jesus.” Interpretation 54.4 (October 2000): 376-385.

Wood, Charles T. “The Doctor’s Dilemma: Sin, Salvation, and the Menstrual Cycle in Medieval Thought.” Speculum 56.4 (October 1981): 710-727.

Wright, Stephen K. “Joseph as Mother, Jutta as Pope: Gender and Transgression in Medieval German Drama.” Theatre Journal 51.2 (1999):149-166.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 27, 2004 at 10:45 pm

Posted in Assorted

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