© 2016 – Routledge
374 pages | 3 B/W Illus.
Devout laywomen raise a number of provocative questions about gender and religion in the early modern world. How did some groups or individuals evade the Tridentine legislation that required third order women to take solemn vows and observe active and passive enclosure? How did their attempts to exercise a female apostolate (albeit with varying degrees of success and assertiveness) destabilize hierarchies of class and gender? To the extent that their beliefs and practices diverged from approved doctrine and rituals, what insights can they provide into the tensions between official religion and lay religiosity? Addressing these and many other questions, Devout Laywomen in the Early Modern World reflects new directions in gender history, offering a more nuanced approach to the paradigm of woman as the prototypical "disciplined" subject of church-state power.
"… a very strong collection of important essays about interesting women who had previously fallen through the cracks of history, brought to light in effective work with riveting primary sources. The range of the content is most impressive, and it is interesting to read not only about the women but the men who hovered over them … unique and important in the way it prioritizes Spanish religious women in the European context."
- Elizabeth Rhodes, Boston College, USA
"Devout Laywomen in the Early Modern World will be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as medievalists and scholars of gender studies, religious studies, women’s studies, and church history. I highly recommend this volume."
- Laura Swan, St. Martin’s University
List of Illustrations
A Note on Texts and Translations
Introduction Devout Laywomen in the Early Modern Catholic World: The Historiographic Challenge
PART I Service
1 Community, Conflict, and Local Authority: The Basque Seroras
2 The Company of St. Ursula in Italy in Counter-Reformation Italy
3 Nursing as a Vocation or a Profession? Women’s Status and the Meaning of Healing in Early Modern France and England
Part II Perceptions of Holiness
4Historicizing the Beatas: The Figures behind Reformation and Counter-Reformation Conflicts
María Laura Giordano
5 Ecco la santa! Printed Italian Biographies of Devout Laywomen, Seventeenth-Eighteenth Centuries
Anne Jacobson Schutte
6 Flying in Formation: Subjectivity and Collectivity in Luisa de Melgarejo de Soto’s Mystical Practices
7 Illuminated Islands: Luisa de los Reyes and the Inquisition in Manila
PART III Confessional Crossings
8 Elastic Institutions: Beguine Communities in Early Modern Germany
Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane
9 Neither Nun nor Laywoman: Entering Lutheran Convents during the Reformation of Female Religious Communities in the Duchy of Braunschweig, 1542-1655
Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer
10 Marina de Saavedra: A Devout Laywomen on a Confessional Frontier (Zamora, 1558-1559)
Doris Moreno Martínez
11 Devout Recusant Women, Advice Manuals, and the Creation of Holy Households "under Siege"
Ellen A. Macek
PART IV Alliances
12 Convent Alternatives for Rich and Poor Girls in Seventeenth-Century Florence: The Lay Conservatories of Eleonora Ramirez di Montalvo (1602-59)
13 Anne Line: Vowed Laywoman, Recusant Martyr, and Elizabethan Saint
Robert E. Scully, S. J.
14 Letters, Books, and Relics: Material and Spiritual Networks in the Life of Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza (1564-1614)
María J. Pando-Canteli
15 Women Apostles in Early Modern Japan, 1549-1650
Haruko Nawata Ward
16 Jesuit Apologias for Laywomen’s Spirituality