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Contested identities

Catholic women religious in nineteenth-century England and Wales

Carmen M. Mangion

Roman Catholic women's congregations are an enigma of nineteenth century social history. Over 10,000 women, establishing and managing significant Catholic educational, health care and social welfare institutions in England and Wales, have virtually disappeared from history. In nineteenth-century England, representations of women religious were ambiguous and contested from both within and without the convent. This book places women religious in the centre of nineteenth-century social history and reveals how religious activism shaped the identity of Catholic women religious. It is devoted to evolution of religious life and the early monastic life of the women. Catholic women were not pushed into becoming women religious. On the basis of their available options, they chose a path that best suited their personal, spiritual, economic and vocational needs. The postulancy and novitiate period formed a rite of passage that tested the vocation of each aspirant. The book explores the religious activism of women religious through their missionary identity and professional identity. The labour of these women was linked to their role as evangelisers. The book deals with the development of a congregation's corporate identity which brought together a disparate group of women under the banner of religious life. It looks specifically at class and ethnicity and the women who entered religious life, and identifies the source of authority for the congregation and the individual sister.

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Carmen M. Mangion

-Dehquani, Religious Feminism in an Age of Empire: CMS Women Missionaries in Iran, 1869–1934 (Bristol: University of Bristol, 2000); Gulnar Eleanor Francis-Dehquani, ‘Medical Missions and the History of Feminism: Emmeline Stuart of the CMS Persia Mission’, in Morgan, ed., 2002, pp. 197–212; Sean Gill, ‘Heroines of Missionary Adventure: The Portrayal of Victorian Women Missionaries in Popular Fiction and Biography’ in Anne 114 Working identities played in the development of British Protestant missions in the nineteenth century provides a comparative assessment of the gendered

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Andrew J. May

missionaries happened to arrive in India in 1841 is the subject of the first section of the book, from the origins of their Calvinistic Methodist denomination in the eighteenth century, their split from the LMS as an assertion of Welsh identity, the voyage to India and their arrival in the hills at a time when earlier missionaries from Serampore had already wielded some influence. The second section

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Panikos Panayi

century identified the semblance of a German community, although the organisations concerned with constructing the German diaspora tended to disregard the Germans in India. Rather than constructing communities and identities in which allegiance to the fatherland became the central tenet, the main loyalty of the missionaries lay to their Protestant (or Roman Catholic) God. While the establishment of churches

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Unmistakably European

Ireland and the decolonisation of Africa

Kevin O’Sullivan

the missionaries’ role in state building showed – it was not the only, nor even the most dominant, characteristic of Irish diplomatic identity. For a short period in New York, these twin pillars of foreign policy – anti-colonialism and support for the UN – married to give Ireland a prominence beyond its size and experience in international affairs. Circumstances were important. The state of flux that characterised the international system in the late 1950s afforded the ‘fire brigade’ states an unprecedented opportunity to include moral objectives in their definition of

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Markku Hokkanen

between mission, government and private sector employment, and across local and regional boundaries. 4 The highly trained hospital assistants remained exclusively mission-trained until at least the late 1930s. 5 In this way, medical middles, especially the elite hospital assistants, formed a significant connecting group between missionary and colonial medicine. The government offered only negligible formal training for

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Minstrels, missionaries and the Minster

Race, imperialism and the historic city

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Emma Robertson

analysis of the ‘metropole’ to include more than just London. They both discuss imperialism as present in smaller, provincial towns, although they focus on the larger cities of Birmingham and Glasgow respectively. Hall, in Civilising Subjects , offers an analysis of Birmingham, which brilliantly tackles the complexities of imperial identities in the self-proclaimed ‘midland metropolis’. 6

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Carmen M. Mangion

5 Professionalising1 It is not praising a nun to say that she is a good teacher or a good cook (though these qualities are valuable acquisitions to their Community), but the praise of a nun is to say ‘She is a good religious’.2 The labour of women religious in the fields of education and health care and in the provision of social services was intricately linked to their missionary and professional identity. As discussed in the previous chapter, salvation – their own and that of others – was at the core of their way of life as simplevowed women religious. Their

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Andrew R. Holmes

promoting religious reform, fostering denominational pride, and asserting their loyalty to the United Kingdom.3 These comments suggest that Presbyterians should not have been concerned with Patrick and the early Irish Church. However, from the 1830s onwards, a variety of Presbyterian writers grappled with Ireland’s patron saint and in so doing used Patrick as a means of contributing to contemporary debates about historical scholarship, Church organisation, missionary activity, and identity politics. A study of Presbyterian interpretations of Patrick in the nineteenth

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Bryan Fanning

-century nationalist claims Racism in Ireland 9 that there was such a thing as an Irish race. Nineteenth-century Irish nationalism, along with the nation-building ideologies of other European countries, emphasised the superiority of the Irish and the inferiority of the non-Irish. Irish identity was not just constructed in opposition to Britishness. It was expressed in a sense of national pride in Irish missionary efforts. Assumptions of Irish spiritual superiority combined with colonial ideologies of western superiority within enduring relationships between Ireland, as part of