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By Force and Fear – Taking and Breaking Monastic Vows in Early Modern Europe - Cornell Scholarship Online
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By Force and Fear: Taking and Breaking Monastic Vows in Early Modern Europe

Anne Jacobson Schutte


An unwilling, desperate nun trapped in the cloister, unable to gain release: such is the image that endures today of monastic life in early modern Europe. This book demonstrates that this and other common stereotypes of involuntary consignment to religious houses—shaped by literary sources such as Manzoni’s The Betrothed—are badly off the mark. Drawing on records of the Congregation of the Council, held in the Vatican, the book examines nearly one thousand petitions for annulment of monastic vows submitted to the Pope and adjudicated by the Council during a 125-year period, from 1668 to 1793. ... More

Keywords: monastic life, early modern Europe, religious houses, Vatican, monastic vows, Roman Catholic, violence psychological pressure

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780801449772
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449772.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anne Jacobson Schutte, author
University of Virginia