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Grant number like: FA-50042-04

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Anne J. Schutte
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4833)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2004 – 8/31/2005

Hearth and Cloister: Families and Forced Monachization in Early Modern Europe

This study explores families and members of the younger generation whom they forced into monastic life during the period 1573-1798. It focuses on 547 reluctant religious from all over the Catholic world who sought annulment of their vows and restoration to secular status by submitting petitions to a department of papal government, the Congregation of the Council. This massive body of material, held in the Archivio Segreto Vaticano, has never before been explored systematically for this or any other purpose. The investigator will illuminate the operations of the patriarchal, "positional," coercive family, which (contrary to the claims of Lawrence Stone and others) remained very much the norm at least until the end of the eighteenth century. Because forced monachization was not, as previously assumed, an exclusively female problem (82% of the petitioners were men), she will conduct a close, nuanced examination of gender from an entirely novel perspective.