This project focuses on examining the nuances of fifteenth century religious gender theory through an exploration of the Trial of Condemnation (unduly maligned in the historiography) against Joan of Arc. Employing a lens of the theological concept of the “Bride of Christ,” (as defined by Dylan Elliot, Johanne Chamberlyne, Gilbert of Hoyland, and Peter Abelard) in studying this text, as well as the contemporary pro-Joan propaganda texts of Christine de Pizan, Jacques Gelu, and Jean Gerson,suggest a departure from current historiographical positions on medieval perceptions of gender and sex identity. Both Joan (in the trial) and her popular supporters understood Joan’s masculine performance as an acceptable incarnation of her feminized role as a “wife of God” (associated with the medieval concept of feminine sexed body). However, Joan’s Inquisitors find her relationship to God problematic, and therefore cannot understand her masculine performance in war as an acceptable commission of duty by a celestial Lord and Husband (a part of the accepted theory of the “bride of Christ” in fifteenth century French canon doctrine). This project then demonstrates the scope of the “bride of Christ” theology in theoretically provided a codified space for female sexed, masculine performance in the public sphere.

First Advisor

Greta Austin

Second Advisor

Poppy Fry

Third Advisor

Katherine Smith

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in History

Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2018