978-0-674-80984-0 / 067480984X

Sisters in Arms: Catholic Nuns through Two Millennia

by McNamara, Jo Ann Kay

Publisher:Harvard University Press



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About the book:

In this compelling analysis of women who have given their lives to religion since the advent of Christ, Jo Ann Kay McNamara challenges that although the church was the first institution to accept women, "the Catholic clergy remains the last womanless place." McNamara maintains that despite reverence for vows of chastity, history has repeatedly shown that "uncontrolled virginity" is believed to be "as dangerous as uncontrolled sexuality." Nuns during the French Revolution were tried for treason for their "persistent chastity," and the rape of a nun has always symbolized a certain triumph over personal will. Despite numerous injustices, McNamara is careful to balance her book with an impressive list of accomplishments by these dedicated women.

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