of pre-sixties ‘pious femininity’ as a starting point from which to assess the gendered expectations that surrounded the politics of courtship, chastity and desire. 7 The interviewees’ interpretation of their ‘innocence’ did not always accord with Brown’s story of imposed suppression. Instead, many remembered the climate of innocence and naivety that pervaded their early sexual development with a sense of

in The Pope and the pill

addressed in the textbook that outlined the desired approach to discussing sex. 19 The use of humour represented an important facet of a counsellor’s presentational style. In a section devoted to jokes, the manual read: Mild witticisms to ease the tension with laughter are essential, set piece jokes tend to fall flat and

in The Pope and the pill
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dissenters becoming ‘a kind of historiographical football, less important in their own right than for the contributions they made, or did not make, to later events’. 6 This new collection of translations in part seeks to demonstrate that understanding Wyclif solely in relation to his desire for ecclesiastical reform, whether in relation to the culture of the English Reformation or not, is potentially to underestimate the work that secured his reputation as a leading talent in the Oxford schools (and, indeed, throughout Europe), and to risk

in John Wyclif
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Wyclif’s views on the church and the papacy were recorded systematically in two roughly contemporary treatises, On the Church (1378/9) and On the Power of the Pope (late 1379). His conception of the church, like his understanding of the nature of scripture, was underpinned quite conspicuously by his philosophical realism, which privileged the eternal over the finite and ephemeral. In the first chapter of On the Church, in response to his initial desire to describe the quiddity of the church, he therefore claims simply that the church is ‘the congregation of all of those predestined to salvation’. This definition, he suggests, underlies many of the diverse conceptions of the church that are found in scripture. It is this church, he goes on to suggest, that we should properly identify as the bride of Christ. The head of the church, we are told, is uniquely Christ himself, and its members are his limbs. Nobody can know for certain that he or she is among the predestinate, or even the foreknown (that is, those predestined to damnation), which meant that for Wyclif, nobody could be sure that he or she was truly a member of the church, except by ‘special revelation’.

in John Wyclif

’s entry into religious life. When their desire to become women religious was opposed, women turned to religious ideology for justification. In this way, many were successful in achieving their aim of becoming women religious. Spirituality The feminisation of the church and the extension of women’s work into the public sphere through religiously motivated philanthropy are familiar themes for those investigating nineteenth-century women and religion.28 Sue Morgan asserts that religious belief and feminism were the two most ‘formative ideological influences’ for

in Contested identities

selected texts that deal with a range of issues that were to become crucial to Wyclif’s later thought. All are clearly informed by his developing philosophical realism, and represent his desire to gesture away from the material particulars of the world, towards the universal entities that Wyclif felt were the proper objects of philosophical knowledge. The Summa de Ente was produced between ca. 1360 and 1372, and represents some of Wyclif’s earliest and most original philosophical work. It is here that his philosophical realism finds its

in John Wyclif

whole trinity impresses the knowledge that guides it into the minds of the human species, and ends in its final purpose. Therefore, just as the soul is better than any knowledge of worldly things, and because the clemency of the trinity is shown in its desire to teach viators in this way, likewise that knowledge, which has seven parts, is called the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, which arise out of the clemency of the deity, through which it seeks not merely to create and govern the human species, but also to teach it in a salubrious way. In Isaiah 11[:2–3], this is

in John Wyclif
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Changing ministries

Education Committee of the National Justice and Peace Commission, the Churches’ World Development Committee and on the diocesan Justice and Peace Commission. 3 When the decision to withdraw the Ursuline community from Christ’s College was made in 1980, she took the opportunity to join a small community of Ursulines located in the town of Shotton, North Wales, where steel closures, unemployment and uncertainty were part of the inhabitants’ daily lives. She was ready for this new opportunity, which she wrote ‘offered a way forward’ and she saw herself meeting ‘a desire for

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age

, but is a physiological state of arousal which arises spontaneously and has no relation to any specific man. 12 The commission discussed female sexuality as something that did not simply represent a composite part of marital relations, but as an important consideration in itself. Women’s sexual desire was understood as a

in The Pope and the pill
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girls’ lives in the past reinforce stereotypes of female passivity. Despite the lack of historical analyses of girlhood, a plethora of memoirs and autobiographies – what Breda Gray calls ‘a memoir boom’ – overtook Ireland beginning in the 1990s.9 The reasons for this are complex, but certainly there was something ‘cathartic’ or ‘confessional’ about these works, likely tied to the late twentieth-century Church scandals, criticism of the Catholic Church’s influence, and writers’ subsequent desires to expose long-held secrets.10 Disclosures about the horrific treatment

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