The essays contained in this volume examine the particular religious experiences of women within a remarkably vibrant and formative era in British religious history. Scholars from the disciplines of history, literary studies and theology assess women's contributions to renewal, change and reform; and consider the ways in which women negotiated institutional and intellectual boundaries. The focus on women's various religious roles and responses helps us to understand better a world of religious commitment which was not separate from, but also not exclusively shaped by, the political, intellectual and ecclesiastical disputes of a clerical elite. As well as deepening our understanding of both popular and elite religious cultures in this period, and the links between them, the volume re-focuses scholarly approaches to the history of gender and especially the history of feminism by setting the British writers often characterised as 'early feminists' firmly in their theological and spiritual traditions.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction, Sarah Apetrei, Hannah Smith; Chapter 2 Women, Marriage and Agency in Restoration Dissent, Alison Searle; Chapter 3 Masculine Virgins:, Sarah Apetrei; Chapter 4 Female Authority and Lay Activism in Scottish Presbyterianism, 1660–1740, Alasdair Raffe; Chapter 5 ‘When God shall Restore them to their Kingdoms’:, Claire Walker; Chapter 6 A Latitudinarian Queen:, Melinda Zook; Chapter 7 Religion and Sociability in the Correspondence of Damaris Masham (1658–1708), Sarah Hutton; Chapter 8 Slander, Conversation and the Making of the Christian Public Sphere in Mary Astell’s A Serious Proposal to the Ladies and The Christian Religion as Profess’d by a Daughter of the Church of England, William Kolbrener; Chapter 9 Susanna Centlivre, ‘Our Church's Safety’ and ‘Whig Feminism’, Hannah Smith; Chapter 10 The Life and Works of Catherine Talbot (1721–70):, Emma Major;
Sarah Apetrei is Departmental Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History in the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Oxford, UK. Hannah Smith is Tutorial Fellow and University Lecturer in History at St. Hilda's College, University of Oxford, UK.