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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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Turning towards a radiant ideal
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling

6 Conversion: Turning towards a radiant ideal Love as a mediating and unifying power between neoliberal eros and political-theological agape The interests of rulers require that their subjects should be poor in spirit, and that there should be no strong bond of friendship or society among them, and love, above all other motives, is likely to inspire this, as our Athenian tyrants learned by experience, for love . . . had a strength that undid their power. (Plato, 1892: Symposium, 10) In a post-Catholic, materialist, secular-cynical Ireland, if we are interested

in The domestic, moral and political economies of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
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Freethinking feminists and the renunciation of religion
Laura Schwartz

In 1842, Emma Martin published a tract entitled A Few Reasons for Renouncing Christianity and Professing and Disseminating Infidel Opinions, in which she described her conversion away from the Baptism of her youth to a militantly atheist brand of Freethought. Before embarking upon a full account of this counter-conversion, Martin paused to explain the significance of her tale. ‘But reader,’ she

in Infidel feminism
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How did laywomen become nuns in the early modern world?
Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt

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
David Hardiman

In her history of the Bhil mission, Battling and Building amongst the Bhils , Rose Carter recounted an inspiring narrative of conversion. 1 She stated that before his death at Lusadiya in 1898, Surmaldas, the guru of the Bhagats, made a number of prophesies: A terrible famine would shortly occur

in Missionaries and their medicine
Gender and conversion in the early modern Mediterranean
Eric Dursteler

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
Simha Goldin

2 Forced conversion during the First Crusade Apostasy and Jewish identity Forced conversion during the First Crusade T he tendency that emerges from Rashi’s words reflects a decisive leadership approach, establishing a clear direction of attempting to return converts to Christianity to Judaism. The self-definition of Judaism its leaders sought to establish was that of a religion that felt confident in its ability to deal with Christian theological claims and in its political ability to deal with the threat of forced conversion. This situation changed during

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Keith P. Luria

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
Biswamoy Pati

3 Hegemony, shifting identities and conversions It is a rather strange world that we live in. Whereas in this post-modern age many of us can appreciate Darwin and his theory of the evolution of the human species and we can identify with scientists searching for the missing link, it is difficult for most of us to accept that originally we were all adivasis. This seems to be the undiscovered ‘missing link’ when it comes to the evolution and development of the caste system in south Asia. Another problem relates to the manner in which Hinduism is presented as a

in South Asia from the margins
‘Free speech’ and the rights of trans and non-binary people on university campuses
Grace Lavery

particularities, to whom our brave teachers are compelled to administer an abrasive but medicinal draught. Reed might seem to be pleading for the rational exchange of secular ideas in the public sphere of academic debate, but his mode of addressing his readers makes him sound like nothing so much as a travelling huckster shopping that good old-time religion. In short, for Christopher Reed, transness is a phase, and grad school a kind of conversion therapy. Consider these remarks: 3. In a capitalist culture, we are expected to solve our own problems – ideally by buying

in The free speech wars