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Catholic women religious in nineteenth-century England and Wales

Roman Catholic women's congregations are an enigma of nineteenth century social history. Over 10,000 women, establishing and managing significant Catholic educational, health care and social welfare institutions in England and Wales, have virtually disappeared from history. In nineteenth-century England, representations of women religious were ambiguous and contested from both within and without the convent. This book places women religious in the centre of nineteenth-century social history and reveals how religious activism shaped the identity of Catholic women religious. It is devoted to evolution of religious life and the early monastic life of the women. Catholic women were not pushed into becoming women religious. On the basis of their available options, they chose a path that best suited their personal, spiritual, economic and vocational needs. The postulancy and novitiate period formed a rite of passage that tested the vocation of each aspirant. The book explores the religious activism of women religious through their missionary identity and professional identity. The labour of these women was linked to their role as evangelisers. The book deals with the development of a congregation's corporate identity which brought together a disparate group of women under the banner of religious life. It looks specifically at class and ethnicity and the women who entered religious life, and identifies the source of authority for the congregation and the individual sister.

Women in the Freethought movement
Laura Schwartz

local societies has suggested that there were some opportunities for women to participate in the movement at the rank and file level. Leading female Freethinkers were on the whole from the upper-working and lower-middle class (though a few came from wealthier backgrounds) and for them a commitment to Freethought often entailed financial insecurity. They combined their Freethinking views with adherence to a variety of radical

in Infidel feminism
John Privilege

but full of danger for any that could not’.3 This lack of scientific discussion is not easily explained. Compared with England, conditions in Ireland were not conducive to a wide ranging debate. By the 1860s half of the British population lived in cities, there was an affluent middle class and a printed media with large circulations fed a general hunger for scientific debate.4 In contrast, less than a quarter of Irish people in 1881 lived in towns with a population of over two thousand and the majority of Catholics remained tied to the land.5 The Catholic middle class

in Michael Logue and the Catholic Church in Ireland, 1879–1925
Jennifer Lloyd

poor districts under the supervision of a parish priest or pastor, had considerable autonomy in their daily lives, and by the early twentieth century a few had a foothold in their institutional government. The motivations for the foundation of deaconess orders in Britain were not the same as in Germany. Although, as in Kaiserswerth, their organizers had to deal with prejudices against popery, there was no rapid growth in British Roman Catholic sisterhoods. Mid-century concerns for the fate of unmarried women – ‘redundant’ spinsters – were directed at middle-class

in Women and the shaping of British Methodism
Michael Carter-Sinclair

mutual savings associations, would likely have been more for the benefit of the lower middle classes, or highly skilled workers, rather than the masses. 34 This is a view confirmed by how the Arbeiter-Zeitung reported the death of Latschka, although the tone of the report is surprisingly sympathetic in manner, given that Latschka campaigned against the Social Democrats. Describing him as a ‘well-known priest and Christian Social agitator,’ the paper argued that he was never a ‘preacher of hatred,’ at least in the manner of many of his contemporaries. Rather, he

in Vienna’s ‘respectable’ antisemites

town took place in the 1790s included war with France from 1793, trade fluctuations, and hunger everywhere in Europe in 1795. There were food riots and campaigns to remove Dissenters’ disabilities and for parliamentary reform, which provoked Church and conservative reactions. Attempts to form trade unions were met by repressive Combination Acts and if middle-class reformers were cowed into declarations of ‘loyalty’, there were still undercurrents of artisan reform agitation. 112 Population growth brought more

in Manchester Cathedral
Michael Carter-Sinclair

central Vienna. 13 The Catholic Neuigkeits-Welt-Blatt did not formally endorse candidates from any one party, but it hoped that the electorate would choose men who would aid the middle classes, who were being driven to ruin by cheap, imported foreign goods. This reflected one of the main points of the antisemitic programme. 14 During these elections, some political campaigns became heated, while others barely caused a stir. One liberal candidate was attacked on the street in Hietzing, while attempts were made to snatch voting slips from the hands of electors in

in Vienna’s ‘respectable’ antisemites
Michael Carter-Sinclair

objects held in a museum, which are ‘the most valuable indicator of the cultural condition of a people,’ rather than more grandiose or larger-scale items that went on display. 65 While its German side was important, this was only one aspect of the collective identity of the Ottakringer Liedertafel . It interacted with, and helped to make up, middle-class society, mixing with members of the city and district councils and participating with groups such as volunteer fire brigades in events which finished with a ‘ Hoch! ’ to Franz Josef. 66 These showed the bourgeois

in Vienna’s ‘respectable’ antisemites
Michael Carter-Sinclair

the middle classes, with their fixed or barely rising incomes. He praised Cardinal Piffl, Archbishop of Vienna, who had died in April 1932 and was succeeded by Theodor Innitzer. 66 Schubert was a politically active priest, engaging publicly with the Nazis through his parish newsletter. In January 1933, he called Nazism an ‘idolatrous cult,’ foreign to the German way. 67 This was a brave move. The Nazis were well supported in Währing, where they polled over 15,000 votes, 28 per cent of turnout in the April 1932 elections, forming the largest party of the right in

in Vienna’s ‘respectable’ antisemites

. 24 MT , 30 August, 6 September 1834; The Times , 1 September 1834. 25 MT , 25 April, 30 May, 11 June 1835. 26 A good account of this is V. A. C. Gatrell, ‘The Commercial Middle Class in Manchester, c. 1820–1857’ (PhD thesis, Cambridge University, 1971), ch. 7, including the claim that the political eclipse of Manchester Toryism in the 1830s may have reflected its leadership’s preoccupation with church issues. For the religious

in Manchester Cathedral