Women and the Reformation gathers historical materials and personal accounts to provide a comprehensive and accessible look at the status and contributions of women as leaders in the 16th century Protestant world. Explores the new and expanded role as core participants in Christian life that women experienced during the Reformation Examines diverse individual stories from women of the times, ranging from biographical sketches of the ex-nun Katharina von Bora Luther and Queen Jeanne d’Albret, to the prophetess Ursula Jost and the learned Olimpia Fulvia Morata Brings together social history and theology to provide a groundbreaking volume on the theological effects that these women had on Christian life and spirituality Accompanied by a website at www.blackwellpublishing.com/stjerna offering student’s access to the writings by the women featured in the book
Acknowledgments viii Introduction 1 The Vision and the Scope of the Book 1 The Term “Reformation” and Inclusivity Concerns 3 Visionary Studies on Women and the Reformation 5 Women in this Book 7 Part 1 Options and Visions for Women 9 1 Prophets, Visionaries, and Martyrs – Ursula Jost and her Publisher Margarethe Prüss 11 Introduction – Medieval Women Visionaries 11 Anabaptists and Martyrs 14 Prophets in Strasbourg and their Publisher Margarethe Prüss 17 Prophet Ursula Jost and her Visions 19 Conclusion 22 2 The Monastic Option – The Struggle of the Convents 23 Introduction – The Drama of Closing the Convents 23 An Excursion – Monastic Calling 24 Nuns’ Fight for Freedom 26 Conclusion 30 3 Marriage and Motherhood – The Preferred Calling 32 Introduction – Marriage Only? 32 The Holy Marital Vocation 33 Pastors’ Wives 35 Motherhood, Prostitution, Divorce 37 Conclusion 38 4 Learning and Power – An Elusive Option 40 Introduction: The Impetus and Obstacles for Theological Writing 40 Writing with and without Visions 42 The Education Factor 43 The Educated Women 46 Part 2 Women as Models, Leaders and Teachers of the Reformation 49 5 “Herr Doktor” Katharina von Bora, 1499–1552. The Lutheran Matriarch 51 Introduction 52 Katharina – From a Nun to the Ultimate Reformer’s Spouse 52 Conclusion 67 A Word about Sources and References 69 6 Argula von Grumbach, 1492 to 1563/68? – A Bavarian Apologist and a Pamphleteer 71 Introduction 72 Argula as a Defender of Faith – A Valiant Christian, or a Devilish Woman? 73 Conclusion 83 A Word about Sources and References 85 7 Elisabeth von Brandenburg, 1485–1555, and Elisabeth von Braunschweig, 1510–1558 – Exiled Mothers, Reforming Rulers 87 Introduction 88 Elisabeth von Brandenburg née Elisabeth of Denmark – A Reformer in Exile 89 Elisabeth von Braunschweig-Lüneburg (Calenberg) 96 Conclusion 107 A Word about Sources and References 108 8 Katharina Schütz Zell, 1498–1562 – A Publishing Church Mother in Strasbourg 109 Introduction 109 A Church Mother, a Pastoral Care Provider, a Writer, Even a Preacher 110 Conclusion 130 A Word about Sources and References 131 9 Marie Dentière, 1495–1561 – A Genevan Reformer and Writer 133 Introduction 133 Marie Dentière – A Feminist Reformer and Biblical Interpreteter 135 Conclusion 146 A Word about Sources and References 147 10 Marguerite de Navarre, 1492–1549, and Jeanne d’Albret, 1528–1572 – The Protectors of the French Reformers 149 Introduction 150 Marguerite d’Angoulême/de Navarre – The Illustrious Queen, Writer and Spiritual Mother 150 Jeanne d’Albret, a Protestant Queen and a Huguenot leader 158 Conclusion 173 A Word about Sources and References 174 11 Renée de France, 1510–1575 – A Friend of the Huguenots 175 Introduction 176 Renée – A French Protector of Huguenots in Italy and France 177 Conclusion 195 A Word about Sources and References 196 12 Olimpia Fulvia Morata, 1526/27–1555 – An Italian Scholar 197 Introduction 197 Olimpia Fulvia Morata, a Classicist Huguenot Teacher 199 Conclusion 210 A Word about Sources and References 212 Conclusions and Observations on Gender and the Reformation 213 Reformation and Gender, Changes and Losses 213 Individual Choices and Women’s Experiences 216 The Options for Women 217 Reformers’ Ideas about Women 219 Sola Scriptura, Education, and Legal Matters 219 Conclusion 221 Bibliography 223 Options and Visions for Women 223 Women as Models, Leaders and Teachers of the Reformation 232 Index 259
“Stjerna writes in a style that will be accessible to undergraduate students, and her sophisticated analyses draw on her extensive theological training and wide reading, so that the book will be useful for more advanced students and non-specialist scholars as well.” (The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April 2010) “This work should be viewed as a very welcome teaching resource: it provides novice undergraduate students of the early modern with the means to be informed about and inspired by the Reformation, whilst offering ample resources for postgraduates to develop ideas.” (Journal of Theological Studies, April 2010) "Concise descriptions summarize basic biographical information and analyze the leadership role of these women in the larger reformatory movements. ... A thorough bibliography (thirty-six pages) offers wide possibilities for further reading. The book succeeds in its goal." (Religious Studies Review, December 2009) "The text is fairly described as ground breaking. An extensive bibliography and a full index are provided. The price for such an academic study is refreshingly modest." (History, October 2008)
Kirsi Stjerna is Associate Professor of Reformation Church History and Director of the Institute for Luther Studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. She is the editor of The Role of the Bishop: Changing Models for a Global Church (2001) and Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historical Perspective (1998).
Women were critical participants in Christian life during the Reformations. Women and the Reformation gathers historical materials and personal accounts to provide a comprehensive and accessible look at the status and contributions of women as leaders in the 16th century Protestant world. Examining individual stories from women of the times, this volume includes biographical sketches from figures as diverse as the ex-nun Katharina von Bora Luther and Queen Jeanne d’Albret, the prophetess Ursula Jost and the learned Olimpia Fulvia Morata. The first book of its kind, this groundbreaking text brings together social history and theology, to provide an original assessment of the theological effects these women had in Christian life and spirituality. A website to accompany Women and the Reformation is available at www.blackwellpublishing.com/stjerna, featuring writings by the women included here.
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