Chapter

Women Religious

Timothy Willem Jones

in Sexual Politics in the Church of England, 1857-1957

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199655106
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744952 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655106.003.0003
Women Religious

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This chapter explores the significance of the revival of women’s religious orders on Anglican sexual politics. It compares the revival of the order of deaconesses with that of the sisterhoods, or nuns. Both movements utilized Victorian notions of social motherhood to enable middle-class women to expand their sphere of activity, often free from direct male authority. Deaconess’s ancient genealogy and sacral ambiguity, the unresolved question of their place in Holy Orders, meant that they grew less rapidly than the sisterhoods. It also, however, meant that they posed a much more substantial challenge to Anglican sexual metaphysics.

Keywords: women religious; nuns; deaconesses; Anglo-Catholic revival; feminism; social motherhood; ordination

Chapter.  10723 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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