Women, Gender and Radical Religion in Early Modern Europe

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This collection of twelve new essays explores the role of women and gender in a broad range of ‘radical’ religious movements of the post-Reformation. Organized into three themed divisions, the first examines the activism of female Quakers in their public performances as preachers and petitioners, in their global travels, and in their domestic lives; the second examines early modern prophetesses and their radical revisions of scripture, gender, body, and voice; and the third concerns women who, in diverse ways, crossed boundaries, including the confessional boundaries of Europe. A strength of this volume is its comparative re-examination of the term ‘radical’. German Anabaptists are discussed alongside unorthodox nuns with the aim of understanding how gender factors into innovative and oppositional religion.

Contributors include: Sarah Apetrei, Naomi Baker, Sylvia Brown, Ruth Connolly, Pamela Ellis, José Manuel González, Julie Hirst, Stephen A. Kent, Marion Kobelt-Groch, Bo Karen Lee, Kirilka Stavreva, and Sheila Wright.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The dozen essays are uniformly strong, and the rich arguments and in-depth research offered in this collection make compelling and illuminating reading for anyone interested in seventeenth-century religious experience". Kimberly Anne Coles, The University of Maryland. In: Church History and Religious Culture, Vol. 90, No. 2-3 (2010).
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Sylvia Brown, Ph.D. (1994) in English, Princeton University, is Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, Canada. She has published essays on women’s writing and religious culture and is the editor of Women’s Writing in Stuart England (Sutton, 1999).
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Conventions
Notes on Contributors

Introduction, Sylvia Brown

1. Prophetic Cries at Whitehall: The Gender Dynamics of Early Quaker Women’s Injurious Speech, Kirilka Stavreva
2. The Radical Travels of Mary Fisher: Walking and Writing in the Universal Light, Sylvia Brown
3. Seven Thousand “Hand-Maids and Daughters of the Lord”: Lincolnshire and Cheshire Quaker Women’s Anti-Tithe Protests in Late Interregnum and Restoration England, Stephen A. Kent
4. “Truly Dear Hearts”: Family and Spirituality in Quaker Women’s Writings 1680-1750, Sheila Wright

5. “Break down the Walls of Flesh”: Anna Trapnel, John James and Fifth Monarchist Self-Representation, Naomi Baker
6. A “Remarkable Female of Womankind”: Gender, Scripture, and Knowledge in the Writings of M. Marsin, Sarah Apetrei
7. “Mother of Love”: Spiritual Maternity in the Works of Jane Lead (1624-1704), Julie Hirst
8. “I Wish to Be Nothing”: The Role of Self-Denial in the Mystical Theology of Anna Maria van Schurman, Bo Karen Lee

9. Mouldered Away in the Tower With the Fruit of the Womb? On the Treatment of Pregnant Anabaptist Women under Criminal Law, Marion Kobelt-Groch, translated by Dennis Slabaugh
10. “They are but Women”: Mary Ward (1585–1645), Pamela Ellis
11. Cherchez la femme: Radical Religion in the Life and Poetry of Luisa de Carvajal, José Manuel González
12. “A Wise and Godly Sybilla”: Viscountess Ranelagh and the Politics of International Protestantism, Ruth Connolly


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