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The Holy HouseholdWomen and Morals in Reformation Augsburg$
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Lyndal Roper

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202806

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202806.001.0001

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The Reformation of Convents

The Reformation of Convents

(p.206) 6 The Reformation of Convents
The Holy Household

Lyndal Roper

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the changes in convents during the Reformation. Female religious life was understood before through a metaphor: the nun was the bride of Christ. The nuns' living conditions, clothing, way of life, devotional style, and the imaginative space they occupied in sixteenth-century people's minds were determined by their paradoxical status. The nun was married, but her ‘spouse’ integrated her away from a husband's family. Moreover, she was bound to a group of women by the same vow that made them co-spouses and fellow-sisters. On the other hand, this choice of convent life offered women an alternative to marriage. This gave an option that ensured wifehood was not the only socially valued role for women.

Keywords:   nun, convent, bride of Christ, religious life, Reformation, marriage, wifehood

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