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Carmen Mangion

ordinariness that suggested I was mistaken in interviewing them. These were precisely the women who often leave very little trace in archival documents and whose oral testimonies reflect lived and subjective experiences that complicate an institutional top-down narrative which identified a sense of progress seemingly implicit in the renewal of religious life. 24 Oral testimonies have multiple layers. To focus on subjectivities, the meanings, emotions and attitudes so central to the construction of self, requires being alert to more than just the ‘facts’. 25 Interview

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
Abstract only
David Geiringer

Harris situated her research in the emerging histories of gender and emotion which ‘increasingly assert that change in twentieth-century Britain should be viewed as part of a longer-term continuum’. Her work demonstrated that there was no sudden movement away from a ‘ghettoised’, coercive form of Catholicism in the sixties as Hornsby-Smith suggested. Harris’ emphasis on what she termed the ‘longue durée

in The Pope and the pill
Carmen Mangion

relationships were secondary. Such individual self-control, in theory, distanced family and friendship relationships and allowed the channelling of emotions to a higher cause, the spousal relationship with Christ. This love was spiritual rather than sexual, and indeed genital fulfilment would have led to a transgression against the vow of chastity. Emotional detachment was intended as sacrificial and suffering was a laudatory consequence. Submissiveness was not simply obedience to authority; it incorporated cooperation, a working together with women of (potentially) different

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
Abstract only
Carmen M. Mangion

Sisters of Mercy in the Diocese of Southwark no longer wore elaborate bridal attire. Novices of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary stopped wearing white bridal attire in their clothing ceremonies in 1869. RSM Bermondsey: ‘Bermondsey Annals’, 1859, p. 28; DHM: C3 ‘Provincial Council Meetings’, 26 January 1869. Forming a novice 99 unfavourably upon the prospect of our classes opening.’45 The Notre Dame sisters did wear their habit to Sunday Mass, and Sister Clarie observed that ‘We were edified on leaving church to see these good people observe us and weep with emotion

in Contested identities
David Geiringer

psychological reflex, a spontaneous and essentially physical response that was distinguishable from the emotion of love. Consequently, the commission involved single women in its considerations, as well as commenting on previously uncharted topics such as female masturbation. 13 Hornsby-Smith described Catholic institutions as ‘lagging behind the rest of society’ in their stances towards women’s changing sexual status in the 1960s. 14

in The Pope and the pill
David Geiringer

, but this does not make their interpretations any less insightful. The tone, mood and emotions that accompanied the interviewees’ recollections of early life offer an insight into how this life-cycle stage was experienced at the time, as well as the interpretive filter they developed subsequently. This chapter begins with a discussion of the sexual education that was available to Catholic women in the

in The Pope and the pill
Abstract only
Cara Delay

Robyn Fivush, ‘Gendered narratives: elaboration, structure, and emotion in parent-child reminiscing across the preschool years’, in Autobiographical Memory, p. 80. 22 Margaret MacCurtain, ‘Recollections of Catholicism’, in The Field Day Anthology of Women’s Writing Volume IV, p. 570. 23 McKenna, Made Holy, p. 45. 24 David Morgan, ‘Introduction’, in his Religion and Material Culture: The Matter of Belief (New York, NY: Routledge, 2010), p. 4. 25 Notebook describing childhood of Mary Margaret Murphy, Clifton, Co. Cork, 1857–86. MS 19441, NLI. Cited in Women in

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950
Cara Delay

’ sometimes overbearing religious presence in their lives. The early memories of Moira Verschoyle, born in Limerick in 1904 to a Catholic mother and Protestant father, depict her feelings for her mother as obsessive. Her description of her mother’s behaviours highlights both passionate love and abuse: Mother’s was the only personality that I felt, that interpenetrated my being. Her love encompassed me like the air that I breathed – it was both a cushion and a shield … . My mother’s love was not, thank goodness, the serene, controlled emotion which is such a favourite with

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950