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Back to A Voice of Their Own. Women's Spirituality in the Middle Ages.

Learner Reviews & Feedback for A Voice of Their Own. Women's Spirituality in the Middle Ages. by Universitat de Barcelona

101 ratings

About the Course

Have you ever heard about medieval mysticism or medieval heresies? Have you ever wondered about the particular role women played in medieval spirituality? Do Hildegard of Bingen, Clare of Assisi, Marguerite Porete, the Cathar ladies or Isabel de Villena ring a bell? Have you ever felt like you wanted to know more about them? If your answer to any of these questions was yes, then this MOOC, A voice of their own. Women’s spirituality in the Middle ages is what you were looking for. A Voice of their own is much more than a course. It is an invitation to follow the paths traced by the spiritual experiences of medieval women. It is a challenge that, should you let it, will take you to places where you will see and hear things that will astonish you. Here you will find medieval women playing a major role in the spiritual transformations of the Middle Ages, founding monastic movements and orders, writing about their experiences, traveling the roads of Europe to spread their ideas, creating spiritual landscapes, as well as both material an intangible architectures. In this MOOC, these women will speak to you from the past, and you'll see that their voices still hold great validity in the present....

Top reviews


May 28, 2020

Exactly what I needed. I thought I knew a fair bit about medieval female spirituality, but this course provided a fabulous look into areas and groups I have never discovered. Thank you!


Sep 24, 2022

Highly recommend this course for all who would benefit from learning about the middle ages, especially the spirituality of women.

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1 - 25 of 50 Reviews for A Voice of Their Own. Women's Spirituality in the Middle Ages.

By Maureen N

May 16, 2020

I didn't care for this course and therefore didn't finish it for two reasons. First, it wasn't what I was expecting from the description. I thought it would focus on women's spirituality - their ideas, their experiences, their spiritual development. It's not that at all. There was a great deal of emphasis on names of key women and monasteries, dates, and geography. More importantly, there is little attention to the learning. The videos are attractive and understandable but they are just presentations and not well organized ones at that. There's no cohesive framework to the course. It's a bit like listening to an encyclopedia being read aloud. Not at all the quality I have had in other courses.

By Deleted A

Oct 17, 2020

This course had the potential for being outstanding but it has the same faults as the previous course given by Universitat de Barcelona (Magic in the Middle ages). The course is completely unsupported by any of the instructors. The quizzes are often based on completely inconsequential trivia contained in the videos. The quizzes contain questions where the information was provided in the "optional videos". That fact that none of the problems clearly pointed out by students from the previous course have been addressed in this course is just inexcusable.

By Joy S

Jan 3, 2019

Interesting information but much of it is difficult to understand due to Spanish accents. The male scholar in week 5 has a particularly strong accent. Also annoying, constant arm gestures in the videos. The female American professor in week 5, who has one video, is very clear. I enjoyed her video.

By Jacinthe R

Feb 21, 2021

Very well presented course on a captivating subject. Thank you for all your effort and time in making this happen.

By Mary D L

Jun 13, 2020

I enjoyed this course and found it to be interesting, enjoyable and informative. The videos were well presented and we got to see some examples of medieval art, monasteries, etc that were relevant to the topic.

One thing that does require attention is the fact that most of the male presenters are difficult, and at times impossible, to understand. It's not their accent, that's fine. The problem is that they race through it, swallowing and mispronouncing words. If it wasn't for the transcript I would not have had a clue at times. Even the transcript missed some words. The gentleman who gave the presentation on the Claustra website did so very clearly. I would suggest giving the women more presentations as they were very easy to understand.

If I hadn't liked the course so much, I would be taking more points off for the incomprehensibility of the men.

By Steve G

Aug 23, 2019

I found this course very interesting, the content excellent and the videos compelling. The availability of the transcripts were extremely helpful. As a Lay Dominican, the subject matter was of particular interest to me. Thanks to everyone who worked on the production of this course! I also appreciate the provision of the bibliographical material of which I have already begun to make use for further studies. Once again, great work and well done to the whole team!

By Robin G S

May 29, 2020

Exactly what I needed. I thought I knew a fair bit about medieval female spirituality, but this course provided a fabulous look into areas and groups I have never discovered. Thank you!

By Carrie C

May 7, 2022

Certainly challenging, but deeply meaningful. We need more women's voices now, more than ever.

By john c

Aug 9, 2019

A very enjoyable and rewarding journey illuminating light on a hidden past.

By Mara C

Sep 15, 2019

This course was very informative and I found it incredibly useful. There were only a few issues. One of them was the relatively low level of English of some of the lecturers. At times their pronunciation was utterly unintelligible. This issue was also reflected in the quiz questions, which once or twice didn't make grammatical sense. All in all, I am very happy I took the course as it will be very useful in my career and it was overall enjoyable.

By David W

Jun 15, 2021

The content was great, but optional video's were not optional, and too often a question that was correct was marked wrong.

By Beatriz m d

Jan 31, 2023

It has been a beautiful course,where women have been given the floor,it was about time,showing that they were nor all submissive or obedient,as they have led us to believe.

I have finished the course.I have not done peer test for not being able access the cetificate,but all the questionnaires and teacher talks.

Bueno,lo diré en castellano.El curso me parece excepcional,ojalá más universidades españolas den cursos sobre la historia de España,pues tiene mucho que decir y algunas prestigiosas universidades extranjeras,en sus cursos,no son correctos.Soy de Barcelona,entiendo que el curso los profesores no hablén català,un idioma que pocos hablamos,pero no entiendo que sean clases en inglés,no en castellano.

By Luca Z

Oct 13, 2019

The course was extremely interesting and narrated in a way that it gives a satisfactory picture of the subject. Just an advice: the teachers/narrators should perhaps speak a little bit slower. Not only because in most cases nor them nor the students are mother-tongue English speakers,but also because given the many new terms and concepts, it is sometimes necessary to reflect a little bit over them during the narration. Other then that, I would reccomend the course to anybody I will come across with having an interest in medieval history.

By Clara G

Jan 5, 2019

I have just started the course, and found it awsome. So many things about this great women have been in shadow along the centuries! so many feminine experiences that still sound like echoes and come to the present. I also liked this very flexible way of following the lessons, it fits my personal programs. Thanks for this enormous effort and for this beautiful job!

By Louisa A

Jan 19, 2019

Although I struggled to understand the English in most of the videos and I had to follow the transcriptions closely, the content of the course was incredible and I made lots of notes and have already followed up with other reading material which I will continue to read with much enthusiasm.

By Sharon D M

Apr 5, 2020

This was a truly enjoyable course. While I had some problems on occasion with accents I am not familiar with, I found using the transcripts helped. The amount of information was astounding and gave me a much better understanding of the Medieval world of women. Thank you.

By Linda H

Jun 5, 2019

I thought that I knew this subject until I took this course. I learned a great deal more, and was able to study the writing of women that I did not know had lived. I am very grateful to the University of Barcelona and Coursera for offering this wonderful course!

By Agata D

Feb 18, 2019

El presente es fantástico, especialmente en mi caso en el que me planteo realizar una tesis doctoral encuadrada en el periodo de tiempo y contexto histórico, social, religioso, etc. El problema que he podido observar es en relación a las tareas escritas, las cuales tienen que corregir otros alumnos inscritos en el curso. Puede ser un problema cuando no hay suficientes alumnos para corregir y poder obtener las calificaciones necesarias para finalizar el curso.

By Myvanwy E

Feb 10, 2020

really good course but the audio for lectures was often really poor quality. the content itself was great.

By mary g

Mar 22, 2021

The material was thorough, the approach was interesting, the assignments were great; but I have two complaints :

1) the test answer choices should be clearer; too often the details and wording were obscure.

2) I couldn't understand anyone's accent. I ended up not being able to watch ANY of the videos except the one presenter from Duke University! This was a drawback, as I had looked forward to listening to the videos but then I had to read every single transcript, and the transcripts are full of mistakes; so then I had to go back and listen myself to certain sections to decipher it correctly. This was more laborious than an online course should be.

By Magali C B

Oct 15, 2020

The content is explained in a very complicated way and with a lot of complex vocabulary that not only make you feel lost but it also does not fully atract your interest in order to pay attention.

The instructors have a very hard pronunciation (I am not a native English speaker, I understand it is hard but this makes it much harder to comprehend the content.)

The quizzes are based on remembering names and a lot of characteristics written in complex language, I had to take them multiple times each.

By Diane T

Mar 15, 2023

Disappointing. I complete the course. Now, after more than 10 days after submitting my final peer project for evaluation, I'm still awaiting a "peer" review. The process should be improved. Especially with the student.

It is not clear what audience is intended for the students taking the course. The content seems to reach into arcane minutia in terms of exam material necessary to pass the quizzes. Only with a open text book can those level of details be recalled. Definitely not for the casual student taking the course for personal enrichment.

The Lecturers struggled with English in general. Only by following the text as it was read was it clear as to the words used. And it was being read. Sometimes the automated audio to text translation was unable to provide a verbatim translation.

Perhaps a PDF text of the accumulated scripts could be made available. In general, the quizzes seemed to be more difficult than necessary, unless the purpose is only for online entry level college courses.

Peer review. As a casual student, I am not in the position to judge for plagiarism. The evaluation criteria doesn't seem to require this. Some of the submissions were written by self proclaimed graduate students - and they seemed to be - very polished. Is this the expectation? My submission on the other hand was much more basic - essentially what I would write in a classroom environment without external sources. Also, a few of my "peers" were not fluent in English - I might have marked them as a 3 for effort. Are these the same peers who will evaluate my submission? These issues should be considered when rewriting the course for future use.

By Ilse d Y C

Mar 7, 2021

Although I have a BA in History, I have found this course to be too technical, as well as boring. The quiz questions are often "memoristic", and dwell upon small details (names and specific dates) mentioned in the videos, instead of asking about central, broader ideas. I would not recommend anyone from taking this class. What a pity.

By Kathy G

May 9, 2020

I loved this course -- every week was full of engaging information about medieval women in the context of the spiritual landscape. The expert-level professors clearly were passionate about the subject matter and enjoyed teaching it. I also especially liked "traveling" to Spain each week, because the classes were taught in the medieval books library at the university and in the outdoor courtyards of ancient monasteries. In addition to these settings, the course was visually enhanced by artwork, maps, and documents from the Middle Ages. Tip to learners: Definitely take the optional classes, as these will help you with the quizzes. I hope to be able to continue related studies in the future -- such a wonderful course!

By Myriam F

May 16, 2020

A very interesting course. I discovered so many intelligent, courageous, independent women. They participated fully in their societies, bringing about changes in the way spirituality should be lived especially in the case of women. It showed the middle ages had space for women to express their thoughts and voices. A space that began shrinking as the renaissance got closer. I thank very much Dr.Blaca Gari and her team. The only thing I would suggest is to review the translations of the script into English, some were confusing; I had to refer to the Spanish script several times.