Guide Women and the Counter-Reformation in Early Modern Munster

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Francis held the title of bishop of Geneva. John of the Cross: Poems [At Carmelite. Links to files at other site are indicated by [At some indication of the site name or location].

Locally available texts are marked by [At this Site]. WEB indicates a link to one of small number of high quality web sites which provide either more texts or an especially valuable overview. Jay Goodale, H-Net Reviews Laqua-O'Donnell's well-researched and engagingly written book contributes to Reformation studies in several significant ways. The rich material analysed in the book, so far under-explored, supports Laqua-O'Donnell's argument for the sustained study of the multifaceted influence of 'gender' in how religious reforms were actually received and experienced by 'common' people in different sectors of sixteenth-century society This book is to be recommended for readers interested in womens roles and experiences in 'real life' during the sixteenth century and in the aftermath of the Council of Trent.

Kirsi Stjerna, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History Laqua-O'Donnell has written an important case-study which mines valuable sources and reinforces many of the themes of both urban studies and studies of Catholicism in early modern Germany.

Women and the Counter-Reformation in Early Modern Munster | Reviews in History

The perspective of women is important and illuminating and the book is part of a wider trend among historians who are challenging the way scholarship in this field has tended to play down gender issues. Marc R. Forster, English Historical Review Laqua-O'Donnell should be commended for building her study around the voices and actions of women. We gain a wonderfully nuanced picture of the complicated way that class, marital status, and individual personality influenced both legal and ecclesiastical policies. Her book provides yet another example of the benefits of detailed archival research to improving our understanding of women's lives in early modern Europe.

Journal of Modern History.

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Visit Seller's Storefront. Books are hardback and in good condition unless otherwise described. Minor inscriptions such as ownership are not described. If dustwrappers are present they will be described. NB Ownership of goods does not pass to the buyer until full payment has been received. Books found not to be as described or damaged in transit may be returned. Orders usually ship within 2 business days. Women were more likely to provide money for the poor—many of whom were women—and the local parish.


The last part of the book focuses on issues of morality and sexuality. The Tridentine marriage reforms were published only in part and rather late. Civil courts continued to be the primary arbiters in cases concerning marriage. These courts tended to uphold traditional, pre-Tridentine conceptions of marriage. Consequently the courts accepted extended courtship as the norm and even winked at premarital sex—so long as it resulted in marriage.

To some extent, they felt the pressure of state-sponsored efforts to enforce morality, but ultimately the verdict of the community proved more important in the struggle for respectability and security. Within the context of a culture of conflict Streitkultur gossip and rumour, accusation, complaints and denunciations served as a means of social discipline from below. In this complex social dance, some classes of women were more successful than others.

The Reformation and Counter-reformation

The materiality of Catholic devotion provided laywomen with numerous opportunities to participate directly in the religious life of their parishes. In this regard, the devotional practices of the Counter-Reformation constitute a fundamental revival of pre-Reformation piety. At the same time, the experiences of unwed mothers, serving girls and concubines reveal the limited horizons open to early modern women. On the whole, this is a fine study, well thought-out and well written.

The author shows a clear command of the sources and relevant literature as well as a keen sensitivity to their uses and limitations.

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There are two points, however, where the book might have been stronger. The level of coercion and expansion of state power familiar to those of us at home in south-eastern Germany appear to be largely, if not entirely absent. As a result, though we get to see how women experienced confessionalization differently from men, the broader implications of those differences for the construction of gender in the early modern period are never fully explored. In that regard, the book provides a solid example of how gender might be used to broaden our understanding of the impact of confessionalization.