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Gender and religious change in early modern Europe

Under the combined effects of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations within and pressure from the Ottoman Empire without, early modern Europe became a site in which an unprecedented number of people were confronted by new beliefs, and collective and individual religious identities were broken down and reconfigured. Conversions: gender and religious change in early modern Europe is the first collection to explicitly address the intersections between sexed identity and religious change in the two centuries following the Reformation. The varied and wide-ranging chapters in this collection bring the Renaissance 'turn of the soul' into productive conversation with the three most influential ‘turns’ of recent literary, historical, and art historical study: the ‘turn to religion’, the ‘material turn’, and the ‘gender turn’. Contributors consider masculine as well as feminine identity, and consider the impact of travel, printing, and the built environment alongside questions of genre, race and economics. Of interest to scholars of early modern history, literature, and architectural history, this collection will appeal to anyone interested in the vexed history of religious change, and the transformations of gendered selfhood. Bringing together leading scholars from across the disciplines of literary study, history and art history, Conversions: gender and religious change offers novel insights into the varied experiences of, and responses to, conversion across and beyond Europe. A lively Afterword by Professor Matthew Dimmock (University of Sussex) drives home the contemporary urgency of these themes, and the lasting legacies of the Reformations.

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How did laywomen become nuns in the early modern world?

underlay her decision to become a nun. Because taking the veil and becoming a nun was such a customary feature of the religious landscape of early modern Europe, it is easy to pass over its significance. Though not a conversion in the sense of adopting a new faith, the moment at which a (typically) young woman entered a monastic community signalled a profound conversion of her

in Conversions
Gender and conversion in the early modern Mediterranean

case, Mosca’s motivation in this dramatic act was ‘not due to any devotion he had for the Turkish faith’, but rather was done to save his skin so that he could continue his life of piracy. And, in partnership with several Ottomans from Castelnovo, he had a new boat constructed post-haste to support his larcenous activities. At the time of his flight and conversion, Mosca left

in Conversions

for these women were fierce, but victory was especially rewarding. Or at least it was if the missionaries could convince their readers that when such women were baptised, their conversions were sincere and their new Catholic faith was profound. And to do that, the miraculous had to defeat the demonic. If a convert worked a healing deemed miraculous, then the depth of her

in Conversions

focus specifically on ways in which an inquisitorial deponent and her interrogators manipulated gendered roles in order to construct a conversion narrative, one that may well have been at odds with non-normative aspects of the life that it was supposed to represent. THE RELIGIOUS CONVERSION OF JEWS IN THE CONTEXT OF INQUISITORIAL ACTIVITIES The would

in Conversions
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O ver the course of its introduction and twelve chapters this volume has consistently challenged a traditionally narrow scholarly approach to conversion in the post-Reformation world, opening up manifold contexts and revealing the complex interplay of conversion with gendered ideologies and affiliations. It is a timely as well as an important intervention, for such matters

in Conversions
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hath the veile put on hir head (after it is once shorn and filletted) & the blacke Cowle giuen to couer her withall: shee is no longer a woman, nor more sensible of feminine affections, then as if in turning Nun, shee became conuerted to a stone’. 1 Boccaccio suggests that in the popular imagination the formal conversion of the maiden to a nun (her entry into conventual life) sets her outside

in Conversions
Persia, masculinity, and conversion in early seventeenth-century travel writing and drama

I f the concept of conversion most commonly brings to mind the change from one set of religious beliefs to another, explorations of the subject in the early modern period have demonstrated that it is bound up with various different forms of identity: national, political, and social, for example, as well as religious. Michael C. Questier, in his

in Conversions

T his chapter explores how female authority is connected to the reproduction of religious experience in the collection of Protestant conversion narratives The Spirituall experiences of sundry beleevers. 1 This was the first anthology of conversion narratives to appear in print when it was published in 1653. The model was soon copied and in the same year the minister John

in Conversions
And other questions about gender, race, and the visibility of Protestant saints

(whether measured by economic status, gender, or race) but for seemingly being in the wrong place: a singular member of a mid-century London gathered church rather than an indistinguishable product of a large-scale missionary conversion. Because Dinah crosses so many categories, she can help us probe the interrelations of gender, race, and religion. We may also trace the ways cross

in Conversions