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pamphleteering and a female religious activism that could be Puritan, Anglican or Catholic.13 The results were complex and allegiances not clear-​cut –​especially in the 1630s –​and were transformed by the experience of war itself. Clergymen who were in-​ fighting over the rise of Arminianism in the 1620s and 1630s had their female counterparts in women writers; one example is Mary Fage, whose Fames Roule of 1637 represented the King and Queen as god and goddess.14 Great Britains Beauties, or The Female Glory Epitomized of 1638, written by several women of Henrietta Maria

in From Republic to Restoration

different aspect of the Catholic Reformation’s views of proper female piety. The Catholic Reformation church acclaimed pious women who fulfilled specific roles in its devotional life. Chief among them were women who followed a celibate life, and the church worked to enforce their strict enclosure in religious houses. 3 But it also depended on others who promoted the Catholic cause

in Conversions
Catholicism, gender and race in two novels by Louise Erdrich

argue that the figure of Father Damien Modeste in The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (2001) represents the ultimate crisis in the categories of Native versus Catholic.5 Erdrich’s preoccupation with religious identity is mapped upon the bodies of two women who pass in order to take up their Catholic vocations. Pauline Puyat, a mixedblood woman who passes as white in becoming a nun (Sister Leopolda), is one of two narrators in Tracks.6 She also features as a conspicuous absent presence in The Last Report, which dramatises the life of Agnes DeWitt

in Passing into the present
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apostasy, notes that both men and women crossed cultural and religious borders during their travels, and that, ‘with the advent of the Reformation, a wholly new problem emerged within Catholic Europe, for now migrants traversed territories belonging to different confessions’. 10 Siebenhüner demonstrates how differences in faith disrupted the gendered order of the household, and (especially for a Jewish

in Conversions
Women and the work of conversion in early modern England

’s – pastoral work by effecting further confessional shifts within the Catholic community. Scholars have long recognised the importance of religion to early modern women’s identity and self-expression. Nonetheless, women’s literary explorations of religious commitment have frequently been taken as evidence of their passive obedience to patriarchal mandates and, as Erica Longfellow notes

in Conversions
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Discovering biblical women in early modern literary culture, 1550–1700

space to reflect on the Virgin’s importance and intercessory powers. Such poems suggest that poetic reflections on the Bible’s women could be used to express religious sorrow, venerate the saints and bemoan the visible losses of the Reformation. In the biblically infused culture of early modern England, drama was also, as Paul Whitfield White has shown, ‘an effective disseminator of religious ideas and

in Biblical women in early modern literary culture 1550–1700
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of anti-loyalist sentiment (such as Stopford Green’s) which might have arisen over the course of the evening.13 A correspondent writing in the Freeman’s Journal noted as much by suggesting that ‘for gatherings such as that of the Corinthian Club an Irish Nationalist is supposed to be non-existent, just as in former times a Catholic had no existence in the eyes of the English law’.14 This commentator speculated that a propagandist ploy was at work in the staging and running of the Irish women writers’ banquet: that, by promoting political harmony in a discordant

in Irish women’s writing, 1878–1922
Gender and conversion in the early modern Mediterranean

susceptible to conversion, is deeply rooted. In modern western societies, sociologists of religion have found that ‘women are more religious than men on every measure of religiosity’, this despite the historical misogyny of Christianity and the fact that women continue to be systematically excluded from most positions of ecclesiastical authority. Women’s heightened religiosity has been

in Conversions
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themselves the right of reply. The essays included here demonstrate the degree to which early modern culture was saturated with knowledge of biblical women, far beyond the Blessed Virgin and Mary Magdalene, although as Laura Gallagher and Thomas Rist demonstrate, Catholic cults of these saints survived well into the seventeenth century. Alongside the host of nameless women like

in Biblical women in early modern literary culture 1550–1700
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Sarah C.E. Ross and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann

poetry attests to a rich literary response to the political events of the century. This anthology presents a complex and rewarding poetic culture that is both uniquely women-centred and integrally connected to the male canonical poetry for which the era is justifiably famous. In subsequent sections, the Introduction will delineate the historical contexts in which – and about which – these poets write: the English Civil War; the relationship between religious conflict and poetry; the networks and communities within which these women situated themselves; the

in Women poets of the English Civil War