Monastic Sign Languages

Monastic Sign Languages

Edited by 

List price: US$55.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Monastic sign languages have been used in Europe from at least the 10th century by Christian monks, and some, such as Cistercian and Trappist sign languages, are still in use today not only in Europe but also in Japan, China and the USA. Unlike deaf sign languages, they are better understood as forms of symbolic gestural communication rather than languages, and some writers have preferred to describe them as sign lexicons. The purposes for which these sign lexicons were used were varied. Travelling Franciscan monks used finger alphabets, possibly as memory aids for preaching, and in Benedictine monasteries, signs representing words were used for limited communication when silence was required. Rather than the popularly imagined total "Vows of Silence," the Rule of St. Benedict actually dictates that conversation is only not allowed in certain areas of the monastery and during certain hours of the day. It was only much later, in the 17th century, that certain Cistercian and Trappist orders came to see absolute silence as a penance to endure along with the other deprivations of their austere lives.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 116 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 7mm | 181g
  • Aud Publishing
  • United States
  • English
  • 6135970208
  • 9786135970203