contemporary source material to reconstruct Catholics women’s everyday
experience of using NFP.
For almost all the interviewees, ‘early marriage’ was a
distinctive life-cycle stage which ran from engagement to the end of
childrearing. Again, as with ‘later marriage’, the timings of this
life-cycle stage varied from person to person and shifted over time. The
interviewees universally spoke of early marriage as a
monastery and advanced through the introduction of more participatory governance and less formal relationships.
The full or partial cloister that had separated women religious from family, friends and the people they served underwent change in a movement from separateness to engagement. Embodied and physical spatial boundaries that had served to define female religious life were rethought and redefined in the decades after 1950. Though the divide between the cloister and the world was always to some degree permeable, the post-war re-evaluation of the conditions of that
that urged an engagement with the modern world: adaptation, renewal and change. Female religious in Britain, weighed down by the reification of centuries of tradition, responded hesitantly. Then the 1960s: in the Church and in the world, ideas that had been slowly simmering began to bubble and sputter. The zeitgeist of the times was one of action. Expectations of a better world generated a radicalisation, religious and secular, explored and lived by laity, religious and priests. The Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) re-enforced that zeitgeist . New, more urgent
philosophical and theological reasons. For instance, God-seekers of the Solovyov circle were deeply indebted to the philosophy of F. W. J. Schelling (Vasilyev 2019 ). Its neoplatonic elements fit long-standing trends in the orthodox theology (Lossky 1976 , 29; Louth 1989 , 20–21; Vasilyev 2019 ). Its engagement with parallel kabbalistic notions attracted Jews (Franks 2019 ), attracted Russian Christians to Jewish thought (Kornblatt 1991 ; Burmistrov 2007a, b
; Daigin 2008 ), and attracted in tandem Jewish thinkers to Russian Orthodox theology
into which the institution entered in the decade prior to its 1892 closure left (as I shall later elaborate) an indelible and shared mark on their understanding of Judaism, most notably, their deep engagement with Zionism, either for or against.
Concretely, it would be more accurate to describe our ‘ minyan ’ as an artificial grouping of individuals who, under common religious, intellectual, and historical influences more or less independently turned to the Jewish intellectual heritage with similar questions and arrived at analogous conclusions as
life of the nuns and sisters. Relationships with family, friends, other religious and co-workers took on new dimensions. Ministry was rethought and some religious institutes moved away from the institutionally based work that had been so intrinsic to their mission and identity. A renewed emphasis on ecumenism reflected more openness and engagement with other forms of Christianity. These were some of the many revisions to religious life contested by various factions who were ‘for change’ or ‘against change’.
This chapter examines another of these changes: governance
experience are intertwined. It is therefore,
equally at risk of overlooking aspects of ‘personal’ Catholic
‘Discursive Christianity’ also has a distinctly post-war
flavour to it. Brown points out that his focus on discourse has been
produced by his engagement with the ‘linguistic turn’, an intellectual
movement which is generally seen to be located in the deconstructionism
standard association between religion and hierarchical religious institutions
is also problematic as it ignores an entire facet of religious engagement
which is not tied to an institutional structure. Another issue is that women
are frequently seen as oppressed by religious institutions; for some
historians, their lives have come to represent another unwelcome symbol of
patriarchy. In looking at the beliefs and lives of women religious in the
nineteenth-century context, a less static interpretation will be suggested. This
study of women and religion will
documents coming out of the Second Vatican Council. 2 She became acquainted here with a new way to ‘be Church’ and began the journey that propelled her into a world of social justice; grounded in the local, but influenced by the global. She ‘plunged into fresh new experiences’ that encouraged a globalised politicisation: teaching on liberation theology and world development issues; witnessing student demonstrations and debates on race relations. During her twelve years in Liverpool her engagement with justice issues was local, ecumenical and national; she served on the
, with Hugh McLeod countering that any rejection of Christianity occurred before the women’s movement. 8 Historian Sarah Browne concluded from her interviews with ‘second-wave’ feminists that the Women’s Liberation Movement in Scotland was informed by religious discourse. She has also linked women’s Catholicism with their feminism, identifying feminists who credited their convent education as an impetus for their engagement with feminism. 9 Neil Armstrong’s research on clergymen’s wives in the 1960s, to take another example of this reassessment, attributes their use