Nails in the Wall: Catholic Nuns in Reformation Germany (Women in Culture and Society Series)

Nails in the Wall: Catholic Nuns in Reformation Germany (Women in Culture and Society Series)

by Amy Leonard
     
 


During the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther took the biblical maxim “be fruitful and multiply” and used it within the realm of marriage as the cornerstone of his new Christian community. By denying the spiritual superiority of celibacy and introducing new tenets regarding gender, marriage, chastity, and religious life, Luther challenged one of the… See more details below

Overview


During the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther took the biblical maxim “be fruitful and multiply” and used it within the realm of marriage as the cornerstone of his new Christian community. By denying the spiritual superiority of celibacy and introducing new tenets regarding gender, marriage, chastity, and religious life, Luther challenged one of the key expressions of Catholicism—monastic life. Yet many religious living in cloistered communities, particularly women, refused to accept these new terms and successfully opposed the new Protestant culture.
Focusing primarily on a group of Dominican nuns in Strasbourg, Germany, Amy Leonard’s Nails in the Wall outlines the century-long battle between these nuns and the Protestant city council. Using their charm, wealth, and political and social connections, the nuns were able to sustain their Catholic practices. Leonard’s in-depth archival research uncovers letters about and records of the nuns’ struggle to maintain their religious beliefs and way of life in the face of Protestant reforms. She tells the story of how they worked privately to keep Catholicism alive—continuing to pray in Latin, smuggling in priests to celebrate Mass, and secretly professing scores of novices to ensure the survival of their convents. This fascinating and heartening study shows that, far from passively allowing the Protestants to dismantle their belief system, the women of the Strasbourg convents were active participants in the battle over their vocation and independence.       

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226472577
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
07/01/2005
Series:
Women in Culture and Society Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
1. Life Behind the Walls: The Establishment and Growth of the Dominican Convents
2. From Neighbor to Neighbor: Reformation Theories of the Utility of the Cloister
3. The Reformation Confronts the Convents
4. The Ties That Bind: Nuns, Families, and Magistrates
5. The Empire Strikes Back: The Counter-Reformation in Strasbourg
6. Nuns as Whores: The Closing of St. Nicholas-in-Undis
Conclusion
Appendix: Dominican Nuns in Sixteenth-Century Strasbourg
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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