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Women and Faith: Catholic Religious Life in Italy from Late Antiquity to the Present

Women and Faith: Catholic Religious Life in Italy from Late Antiquity to the Present


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Feminist thought has wrestled with the question of whether religion has been principally responsible for the oppression of women or instead has provided access to culture, public life, and—sometimes—power. This study of Italian women and Catholicism from the fourth through the twentieth century reflects this conflict and the tension between the masculine character of divinity in the Catholic Church and the potential for equality in the gospels and early writings ("neither male nor female, but one in Jesus").

The various chapters in this book consider the institutions within which religious women lived, many of which they themselves founded or reorganized. In addition to overviews of women and the religious life throughout the periods under study, specific chapters focus on mystical marriage, religious writings by women, secular writings by nuns, women in sacred images, women in the nineteenth-century Christian family, Marian pilgrimages, and depictions of sisters and saints in film. The authors, leading American, Italian, and French scholars, have drawn on rich resources to provide a panorama of sixteen centuries of Italian history, religious history, and women's history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674954786
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 11/01/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Lucetta Scaraffia is Preceptor in Modern History, University of Rome.

Gabriella Zarri is Professor of Modern History, University of Florence.

Table of Contents

Lucetta Scaraffia and Gabriella Zarri
Translated by Keith Botsford

Female Asceticism and Monasticism in Italy from the Fourth to the Eighth Centuries
Franca Ela Consolino
Translated by Keith Botsford

Mystical Marriage
E. Ann Matter
Translated by Keith Botsford

Society and Women's Religiosity, 750-1450
Giulia Barone
Translated by Keith Botsford

Women, Faith, and Image in the Late Middle Ages
Dominique Rigaux
Translated by Keith Botsford

From Prophecy to Discipline, 1450-1650
Gabriella Zarri
Translated by Keith Botsford

Spiritual Letters
Adriano Prosperi
Translated by Keith Botsford

The Convent Muses: The Secular Writing of Italian Nuns, 1450-1650
Elissa B. Weaver

Little Women, Great Heroines: Simulated and Genuine Female Holiness in Early Modern Italy
Anne Jacobson Schutte

Models of Female Sanctity in Renaissance and Counter-Reformation Italy
Sara F. Matthews Grieco

From the Late Baroque Mystical Explosion to the Social Apostolate, 1650-1850
Marina Caffiero
Translated by Keith Botsford

Mystical Writing
Marilena Modica Vasta
Translated by Keith Botsford

Female Dynastic Sanctity, 1650-1850
Sara Cabibbo
Translated by Keith Botsford

Sacred Imagery and the Religious Lives of Women, 1650-1850
Karen-edis Barzman

"Christianity Has Liberated Her and Placed Her alongside Man in the Family": From 1850 to 1988 (Mulieris Dignitatem)
Lucetta Scaraffia
Translated by Keith Botsford

A Voyage to the Madonna
Emma Fattorini
Translated by Keith Botsford

Sisters and Saints on the Screen
Giovanna Grignaffini
Translated by Keith Botsford



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