comments: Based on the author's dissertation (1971)
Contributions to journals
Eriugena’s discussion of the fall in Periphyseon IV includes a remarkable dialogue between God and Adam in which God rebuffs Adam’s attempt to place primary blame on Eve. In Eriugena’s view, Adam, not the woman, was culpable in the first instance for “deserting God” for the companionship of the woman. This essay focuses on historical women who inhabited the chronological and geographical world of Eriugena in order to appreciate better the historical context in which he lived and worked. Carolingian women whose actions were recorded most often engaged in activities that confronted or challenged authority. A sixth-century guidebook for noble women owned by Wulfad of Bourges, Eriugena’s close friend, clearly recommends subservient status for Christian women. At the same time, Carolingian moralists adopted a more balanced model that contrasts markedly with patristic and post-Carolingian attitudes toward women. The dialogue in Periphyseon IV would seem to share this more moderate model.
Contreni, John J., “The Irish in the Western Carolingian Empire (according to James F. Kenney and Bern, Burgerbibliothek 363)”, in: Löwe, Heinz [ed.], Die Iren und Europa im früheren Mittelalter, 2 vols, vol. 2, Veröffentlichungen des Europa-Zentrums Tübingen. Kulturwissenschaftliche Reihe, Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1982. 758–798.
Contreni, John J., “John Scottus, Martin Hiberniensis, the liberal arts, and teaching”, in: Herren, Michael W. [ed.], Insular Latin studies: papers on Latin texts and manuscripts of the British Isles, 550-1066, Papers in Mediaeval Studies 1, Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1981. 23–44.