Religious Women and their History
Edited by: Rosemary Raughter
The essays in this collection focus on the part played by religion in the lives of women of various Christian denominations from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. Religious Women and their History uncovers the histories of individuals and groups of women, who found in religion a means of self-expression, an obligation to public action, and in many cases an imperative to challenge the conventional understandings of the female role. In her introductory essay, Margaret MacCurtain considers the apparent conflict between the dictates of mainstream Christianity and the autonomy of its female adherents. Other articles include bibliographical analyses of pioneering figures such as Methodist Eliza Bennis, Madeleine Sophie Barat, founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart, and Mother Arsenius Morrogh Bernard of the Irish Sister of Charity, as well as studies of the institutional care and missionary efforts of Catholic, Presbyterian and Salvation Army women in the United States, India and Ireland. Literary representations of religious women are discussed in an examination of nuns and single women in the novels of Kate O'Brien, while Eilean Ni Chuilleanain's "J'ai mal a nos dents" is at once a celebration of her aunt, an Irish nun who spent much of her life in a French Convent, and a meditation on the significance of language. Finally, Maria Luddy outlines the potential for further study of women's religious faith and practice through the use of convent archives.
Publication Date: 7/1/2005