in English Benedictine nuns in exile in the seventeenth century
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This book highlights how the English Benedictine nuns lived their faith in convents where they obeyed the same Rules as their European counterparts, and served the same Church. Like other Continental convents, they were influenced by the disputes that divided the early modern Church, particularly with regards to the influence of the Society of Jesus. They embraced the missionary spirit and the devotional fervour which has been noticed as the trademark of seventeenth-century Catholicism. But beyond similarities, English convents also display features which are quite specific of the English monastic experience in exile, and which are not found in the cloistered communities of Spanish, French or Italian nuns. The social profile of Benedictine monasteries, their finances, their recruitment, the local success of their settlement, and the many facets of their spiritual life, were deeply influenced by the circumstances of English Catholicism and of the English mission; they mirrored, in microcosm, the circumstances, strengths and flaw-lines of both their national and international contexts.


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