Drawn from the rare journal of the Archbishop of Mechelen from 1596 to 1620, this biography sheds light on the colorful life of Mathias Hovius, as well as the key events and characters of the Catholic Reformation period. The authors relate the stories of monks, nuns, priests, pilgrims, peasant women, saints, and others. 24 illustrations.
Based on a treasure trove of letters, this fascinating book tells the history of a seventeenth-century nun in a convent in Leuven and how her complaints of sexual harassment, fears of demonic possession, and alliances among the other sisters against her led to her banishment from the convent on two occasions. Highly acclaimed when it was first published as a revealing look at female religious life in early modern Europe, the book is now available in an abridged paperbound version with a new preface by the author.Reviews of the clothbound edition:"A window to the past. . . . I loved, just loved, this book."-Carolyn See, Washington Post "The world Mr. Harline uncovers is a fascinating one. . . . The story of Sister Margaret gives an extra dimension of humanity to a turning point in the history of ideas."-Sonia Gernes, Wall Street Journal"Better-than-fiction social history. . . . This is a glimpse into diaries, letters, hearts, minds, hatreds, and hopes; it will enthrall."-Christian Century"Harline's graceful writing allows the women and men in this religious community to breathe, gossip, pray with tears. . . . The Burdens of Sister Margaret helps us see the familiar Reformation in a fresh way."-Kevin A. Miller, Christianity Today"Microhistory at its best."-Larissa Taylor, Renaissance Quarterly
This powerful and innovative work by a gifted cultural historian explores the effects of religious conversion on family relationships, showing how the challenges of the Reformation can offer insight to families facing similarly divisive situations today. Craig Harline begins with the story of young Jacob Rolandus, the son of a Dutch Reformed preacher, who converted to Catholicism in 1654 and ran away from home, causing his family to disown him. In the companion story, Michael Sunbloom, a young American, leaves his family's religion in 1973 to convert to Mormonism, similarly upsetting his distraught parents. The modern twist to Michael's story is his realization that he is gay, causing him to leave his new church, and upsetting his parents again--but this time the family reconciles. Recounting these stories in short, alternating chapters, Harline underscores the parallel aspects of the two far-flung families. Despite different outcomes and forms, their situations involve nearly identical dynamics and heart-wrenching choices. Through the author's deeply informed imagination, the experiences of a seventeenth-century European family are transformed into immediately recognizable terms.
The mere mention of "Sunday" will immediately conjure up a rich mix of memories, associations, and ideas for most anyone of any age. Whatever we think of--be it attending church, reading a bulky newspaper, eating brunch, or watching football-- Sunday occupies a unique place in Western civilization. But how did we come to have a day with such a singular set of traditions?
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