Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns by Abbie Reese

By Abbie Reese

As a way of life, cloistered monastic nuns reside hidden from public view by means of selection. as soon as a girl joins the cloister and makes ultimate vows, she is nearly by no means visible and her voice isn't really heard; her tale is largely nonexistent within the historic list and collective, public heritage. From interviews carried out over six years, Abbie Reese tells the tales of the terrible Clare Colettine Order, a cloistered contemplative order on the Corpus Christi Monastery in Rockford, Illinois. Seldom leaving their 25,000-square-foot gated enclosure, contributors of this group embody an severe model of poverty and anonymity - a separation that allows them to withdraw from the realm to commit their lives to prayer. This elimination, they contend, permits them to have a better impression on humanity than in the event that they maintained direct touch with family and strangers. Dedicated to God explores person and cultural identification via oral background interviews with a number of generations of nuns, targeting the origins and lifestyles tales of the ladies who've selected to turn into individuals of 1 of the strictest spiritual orders. however the narrative is usually one in all a collective reminiscence and fight opposed to extinction and modernity, a selection to create neighborhood in the framework of historic principles. The author's gorgeous pictures in their twin worlds, spiritual and quotidian, upload texture to the narrative. This inventive and ethnographic paintings highlights the countercultural values and commitment of people who, at impressive own rate, dwell for romance of God and humanity, out of religion in what can't be noticeable, and with the idea that they are going to be rewarded within the afterlife.

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Hoy, Good Hearts: Catholic Sisters in Chicago’s Past (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006); E. Paula Hyman and Deborah Dash Moore, Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia (New York: Routledge, 1998); Paula M. : Orbis Books, 2001); James Joseph Kenneally, The History of American Catholic Women (New York: Crossroad, 1990); Karen Kennelly, American Catholic Women: A Historical Exploration (New York: Macmillan, 1989); Robert A. Orsi, The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880–1950 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985); Robert A.

The result, as Thomas Bender has complained, is that social historians have built ‘‘a large number of separate but highly cultivated boxes’’ without considering how and whether they fit together. ’’∑Ω Cultural historians have o√ered little help in sorting out these conceptual di≈culties. Inspired by Cli√ord Geertz, who argues that cultural analysis is ‘‘not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning,’’ they have focused more on ‘‘thick description’’ of rituals, practices, or symbols than change over time.

Women’s Religious Diversity Any book about women in American religious history must wrestle with the issue of women’s diversity. Ω∞ The category of ‘‘religion,’’ too, imposes a false unity on a staggering variety of religious expressions throughout American history. On one hand, the American religious landscape has been dominated by Christians since the first European settlements in Plymouth, Santa Fe, and Jamestown, and, as a result, Christianity has usually occupied the center of American religious historical narratives.

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