The Transforming Power of the Nuns: Women, Religion, and Cultural Change in Ireland, 1750-1900

Hardcover | April 1, 1998

byMary Peckham Magray

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Mary Peckham Magray argues that the Irish Catholic cultural revolution in the nineteenth century was effected not only by male elites, as previous scholarship has claimed, but also by the most overlooked and underestimated women in Ireland: the nuns. Once thought to be merely passive servantsof the male clerical hierarchy, women's religious orders were in fact at the very center of the creation of a devout Catholic culture in Ireland. Often well-educated, articulate, and evangelical, nuns were much more social and ambitious than traditional stereotypical views have held. They used theirwealth and their authority to effect changes in both the religious practices and daily activity of the larger Irish Catholic population, and by doing so, Magray argues, deserve a far larger place in the Irish historical record than they have previously been accorded. Magray's innovative work challenges some of the most widely held assumptions of social history in nineteenth-century Ireland. It will be of interest to scholars and students of Irish history, religious history, women's studies, and sociology.

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Mary Peckham Magray argues that the Irish Catholic cultural revolution in the nineteenth century was effected not only by male elites, as previous scholarship has claimed, but also by the most overlooked and underestimated women in Ireland: the nuns. Once thought to be merely passive servantsof the male clerical hierarchy, women's reli...

Mary Peckham Magray is Assistant Professor of History at Wesleyan College.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9.41 × 6.3 × 0.98 inPublished:April 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195112997

ISBN - 13:9780195112993

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"We are grateful for the rich details Magray provides to amplify our knowledge....By carefully describing this 19th-century revolutionary phenomenon among Irish women religious, Magray provides an important challange."--Review for Religious