Talk to be presented at Weingarten, November 30 2018
In his Buch der Reformacio, the observant confessor and convent writer Johannes Meyer compared himself to the biblical Rut to describe his work in the Observance. Like Rut, there former went out to support his family, the Dominican order, and did not leave a part of his relatives, the female branch of the order, behind. By comparing himself to such a great character well-known for her loyalty and caring, Johannes Meyer wanted to create a new image of the observant confessors thus proving that at the time of the convent reforms, confessors like Johannes Meyer had to rethink their notions of the relationship between the female convents and the order.
Throughout the 15th century the Dominican order managed to create new structures and ideals concerning the relationship between the confessors and the observant sisters. The brothers decided to build a unified system and bind the female convents to the order. By improving the relationship between brothers and sisters after the reform, their activating the order’s connections and giving theological advice as well as being mediators between the convent and the city the order changed the female convents as well as the confessors’ duties for good. In this reform the Dominican order was so successful that even bishops could use their guidelines to implement their ideas about the observance in not incorporated convents.