'Salvation is Medicine':
Gender and the Healing Communities of Late Medieval Europe
My current book project examines feminized healthcare practices in thirteenth-century Liège from the perspective of Salus, a word that connoted both healing and salvation. Attending to the hundreds of Cistercian nuns and beguines who served the daily health needs of their communities by acting as nurses to the sick, assistants to the dying, midwives, caretakers of lepers, custodians of the dead, managers of hospices, founders of leprosaria, and comforters who provided food, shelter, medicine, healing prayers, and other forms of bodily care to the suffering, it portrays premodern healthcare from outside of the conceptual hierarchy that has privileged academic medical texts and occupational markers. Based on archival, archaeological, and manuscript sources, 'Salvation is Medicine' serves not only to re-embed women into the history of medieval medicine, but also to reveal the gendered, political, and religious habits of thought that have historically obscured their presence and influence.