This is a fascinating study of the impact of the Reformation idea of "civic righteousness" on the position of women in Augsburg. Roper argues that its development, both as a religious credo and as a social movement, must be understood in terms of gender. Until now the effects of the Reformation on women have been viewed as largely beneficial--Protestantism being linked with the forces of progressivism, individualism, and modernization. Roper here argues that such a view of the Reformation's legacy is a profound misreading, and that the status of women was, in fact, worsened by the Reformation. A number of themes are explored: the economic position of women in the household economy; the nature of "civic righteousness" and how it applied a "reform moralism" to the role of marriage and the household; the efforts of civic authority to reform sexual deviance; the attempts to control marriage and the breakdown of marriage; and the role of convents and nuns. The Holy Household is the first scholarly account of how the Reformation affected half of society. It combines sound application of feminist theory with careful, open-ended archival research to advance our understanding of the Reformation, of feminist history, and of the place of women in modern European society.
`a useful addition to the list of English books on the Reformation in German cities'Times Literary Supplement
`Of interest to students of church history and women's studies from undergraduate level upwards.Theological Book Review
`This is clearly one of the most significant works of recent years on the urban Reformation and women in the sixteenth century and it is set to have a lasting impact on the study of the period.' History Today
`a challenging and interesting analysis of the impact of the Reformation on marriage, morals and the role of women' Sheila Anderson, Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure
`rich and meticulously researched study ... The book is lucidly written and well produced ... Its fundamental importance is its success in locating gender at the very heart of analyses of Reformation history and society, and more convincingly so than any previous studies.' German History
`Dr Roper's clearly written and tightly argued work makes a valuable addition to our knowledge of women in the Reformation and of early modern urban Germany.' History
`a challenging and interesting analysis of the impact of the Reformation on marriage morals and the role of women ... a useful and very welcome addition to the growing number of books that seek to place gender as a central organising feature' History and Computing
`Roper deftly shows how actual and symbolic authority interweave, and gives an excellent example of how power described symbolically in male terms ... might overturn actual male power ... The gendered ways of thinking which Roper analyses are so pervasive and so subtle that it is difficult to see how they could ever be changed.' Merry E. Wiesner, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, European History Quarterly, Vol. 21 (1991)
`rich and meticulously researched study ... Roper's innovative study exemplifies the best models of social history ... The book is lucidly written and well produced' German History
`Roper still provides abundant evidence that the Protestant model for women was more restrictive than the earlier Catholic one. In this well-written, revisionist, and thoroughly scholarly work she has successfully established that the reformed model for womanhood was as subservient wifehood." Retha M. Warnicke, Arizona State University, German Studies Review, October 1991
`The Holy Household is a fascinating and rigorously researched book which offers a total re-evaluation of the social programme of the Reformation ... It will undoubtedly alter the future direction of early modern European historiography. And Roper's insightful use of extensive archival materials makes The Holy Household a model of feminist social research.' Australian Women's Book Review, Vol. 4.1, March 1992
`The Holy Household offers a fascinating and convincing history of patriarchy and Protestantism, of the ways in which Protestant magistrates assumed certain values and used them to forge a reformed society. As such, it has as much to say about politics and police as about society and gender.' Thomas Max Safley, Journal of Social History
`In this well-written, revisionist, and thoroughly scholarly work she has successfully established that the reformed model for womanhood was as subservient wifehood.' Retha M. Warnicke, Arizona State University, German Studies Review, Volume XIV, Number 3
'she offers a bold and original view of the Reformation's appeal to German townspeople in the 1530s and 1540s ... Her persuasive argument, skilfully documented from the Augsburg city archives, is perhaps the most original thesis about the Reformation in recent years. This suprb monograph not only tells the story of women: it shows how central considerations of gender were to craftsmen, patricians and reformers.'
Thomas Robisheaux, Duke University, EHR, July 1993
The Domestication of the Reformation; The Politics of Sin; Prostitution and Moral order; Weddings and the Control of Marriage; Discipline and Marital Disharmony; The Reformation of Convents; The Holy Family.