Summary Of Wiesner's Final Subject Of The Spirit

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Her final division falls onto the subject of the Spirit, where she discusses religion, witchcraft, and power. For Wiesner’s study, four issues dominate the discussion of women’s religious activities: the arrangement of one’s hair, though trivial, denotes both respect and a purposeful hiding of sexual attractiveness by covering it; the struggle between the commandments of God and the opinions of men; the boundaries between public and private life; and finally, the issue where religious doctrine (rather inadvertently) justified the most independent action for a woman. (213-214) This section encompasses the most ground, which Wiesner deserves great credit for, as she examines the religious chronology, division, and voices of not only Protestants,…show more content…
The largest part focuses on the valuation of virginity and taking action as a Protestant, as Argula von Grumbach, in male inaction as doctrinally sound. For the Catholic reformation, Wiesner argues women’s most impressive role came from remedying their husband’s Protestantism, most dramatically in England and Ireland, but not unknown in Italy. Many of the converting practices adopted like homes for repentant prostitutes and foundling homes eventually found place in Orthodox religions under Peter the Great. (241) Jewish women faced similar patriarchal issues as Christian women, with the added pressures of torture, exile, and murder at a governmental level. (250) Muslim women of the period, called “Moriscos” faced marriages similar to those practiced by Catholic women in which conversion dominated their religious involvement. (253). If one did not adhere to these rather domestic religious ideas, then often the women found the accusation of insanity, or witchcraft which lasted through the eighteenth century. In this, Wiesner agrees with Christina Larner and Susanna Burghartz in witchcraft’s popularity as the criminalization of female
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