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This is a fascinating study of the impact of the Reformation idea of "civic righteousness" on the position of women in Augsburg. Roper argues that its development, both as a religious credo and as a social movement, must be understood in terms of gender. Until now the effects of the Reformation on women have been viewed as largely beneficial--Protestantism being linked wit ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published June 1st 1997 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published January 4th 1990)
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From Adam's Rib? -- Women in Medieval and Renaissance Europe
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This book is about women in Reformation Augsburg. It focuses on wives, and disputes the book "When Fathers Ruled" by Steve Ozment. Ozment claims that the Reformation was really quite good for women, because it liberated them from oppressive convents and put them into loving marriages. Roper blows him out of the water through an examination of Augsburg court records. She examines the new religious significance of the household, and the constrictions of women's opportunities that comes out of the ...more
Jan 08, 2010 Victoria rated it really liked it
An important book, if dated. Argues that the Protestant Reformation was not good for women, as champions of Protestant religious equality (cf. Steven Ozment) would have (had) it. Rather, while men and women may have had spiritual equality before God, their kingdoms on earth were very different. Protestantism championed the secular institution of marriage, and forced both men and women into patriarchal unions that were meant to keep society orderly and disciplined. A very dated argument in 2010 t ...more
In addition to being poorly written, this book is one of those works that makes feminist historians look like raging madwomen. Roper complains that 16th-century women didn't make as much as men (hello, they still don't), and that domestic labor was 'naturally' assumed to be women's work (um, still is). While both of these may be true, merely ranting about it does not do anything. Why not contextualize it within a larger patriarchal society? Also, I'm very unclear as to how or why Protestantism c ...more
Lyndal Roper, FRHistS, FBA, is an Australian historian and academic. She was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford in 2011. She is a fellow of Oriel College, an honorary fellow of Merton College, Oxford, and the author of a variety of groundbreaking works on witchcraft.More about Lyndal Roper...