Under the Veil: Feminism and Spirituality in Post-Reformation England and Europe
For women in early modern Europe, the Reformation and the Enlightenment entailed both new freedom and new restrictions. In response to an ideology that immured the female mind and spirit inside the body, women found in religion a hope for individual freedom, a sense of self-identity, and a justification for gender equality. Under the Veil: Feminism and Spirituality in Post-Reformation Europe invokes the veil’s dual significance, as the marker of the religious woman, and as the metaphoric veil separating female interior life from its public construction. This collection of nine essays focuses specifically on the direct links between emergent feminism and religious faith as experienced through wide cultural, geographic, and confessional differences, united by themes of female subjectivity, selfhood, autonomy, and community. The essays range in topic and scope from the early seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries, across Europe, Britain, and North America, through a wide range of experiences and written accounts – its subjects are Philadelphian visionaries and Quaker missionaries, Iroquois leaders and early Canadian nuns, Islamic societies and European female travellers, French mystics and educators, and British writers and intellectuals. These accounts reveal how women across a wide spectrum of formal beliefs and cultural backgrounds found in religion a way to negotiate the restrictions of their outward lives, and a radical source of personal and collective independence and value.
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Women's Studies, individual freedom, Post-Reformation Europe
Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Quinsey, Katherine, "Under the Veil: Feminism and Spirituality in Post-Reformation England and Europe" (2012). English Books. 5.