On 17 March 2018 Classical, Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) alumna Susanne de Jong has been awarded the VNK-thesis prize 2015-2017 for best thesis in the field of Dutch Church and Religious History.
In her thesis “Read some good devout Dutch books. Laypeople, Books and Religious Reading in the Late Medieval Low Countries” she investigated the role of books and reading activities in the domestic devotional life of laypeople in the late medieval Low Countries through the study of a letter of pastoral advice addressed to a fifteenth-century Dutch laywoman. The letter offers an exceptional insight into the performance of reading in a domestic setting: it contains a daily schedule with detailed instructions on which books should be read, at what time, in what manner, and how much time was to be spent on religious reading and meditation. The analysis of this letter, as well as similar Dutch, French and Italian sources, demonstrates the significance and multifaceted character of reading activities and shows that books and religious reading played a more important role within lay circles in the late medieval period than has often been thought. The thesis was supervised by Professor Sabrina Corbellini.
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