Online Symposium | Women and Religion in 18th-C France

Posted in conferences (to attend), online learning by Editor on June 2, 2022

After Magdeleine Horthemels, Burial of Nuns at the Abbey of Port-Royal-des-Champs (Musée de Port-Royal des Champs).

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From the conference website:

Women and Religion in Eighteenth-Century France: Ideas, Controversies, Representations
Online, Queen Mary, University of London, 24 June 2022

Organized by Marie Giraud and Cathleen Mair

From Catholics to Protestants, abbesses to lay sisters, or even artists and salonnières, religious women played an important role in the social, cultural, and political life of France during the eighteenth century. Drawing on new approaches and sources, this interdisciplinary symposium will consider the identities, controversies, ideas, experiences, and representations of religious women in the period. It will explore how women of faith navigated, adopted, challenged, or subverted the religious canon, cultural norms, and social conventions as the understanding of religion, politics, and power shifted rapidly throughout the eighteenth century.

The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Mita Choudhury (Vassar College), whose work on gender, sexuality, and the place of nuns within the larger political and intellectual world of pre-revolutionary France lays the groundwork for further studies of women religious in the period.

The symposium will take place online via Zoom and is free to attend. All times in BST. Please click here to register to attend. The Zoom link will be circulated with registered attendees 24 hours in advance. A PDF version of the programme is available to download here.

This event is generously supported by London Arts and Humanities Partnership and the Doctoral College Initiative Fund at Queen Mary University of London.


9.30  Welcome and Housekeeping
• Marie Giraud (QMUL) and Cathleen Mair (QMUL)

9.45  Panel 1 — Living Faith: Everyday Religion in Women’s Letters
Chair: Ben Jackson (Birmingham)
• Cormac Begadon (Durham University), Nuns and Their Confessors: Appeals, Emotions, and Gender in the English Convents
• Gemma Betros (Australian National University), Marie de Botidoux: Religion in the Life of a Young Woman in Late-Eighteenth-Century Paris

10.45  Panel 2 — Recovering Voices: Women Religious in Print Culture
Chair: Gemma Tidman (QMUL)
• Rebecca Short (University of Oxford), Posthumous Presence: Religious Authority in the Lettres à une illustre morte (1770)
• Sean Heath (Independent Scholar), Je ne suis qu’une femme: Madame de Lionne’s Intervention in the Chinese Rites Controversy, 1700–1705

11.45  Break

12.00  Panel 3 — Faith on Trial: Religious Sects and the State
Chair: Liesbeth Corens (QMUL)
• Sarah Barthélemy (Durham University / Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles), Gender, Catholicism, and Dissimulation: The Trial of Adélaïde Champion de Cicé
• Otto Selles (Calvin University), Prophétesses de Sion: Women and the Multipliant Sect (Montpellier, 1720–1723)

13.00  Lunch Break

14.00  Panel 4 — Contested Meanings: Women Religious and Revolutionary Politics
Chair: Ben James (KCL)
• Corinne Gressang (Erskine College), What Does Liberty Mean to a Nun?
• Richard Yoder (Pennsylvania State University), Jacqueline-Aimée Brohon: Victim-Soul and Revolutionary Prophet

15.00  Panel 5 — Representing Faith: Spaces and Objects of Devotion
Chair: Hannah Williams (QMUL)
• Killian Harrer (University of Munich), Wellsprings of Devotion: Marian Apparitions and Female Pilgrims in Revolutionary France
• Samuel Weber (EHESS), Handmaids of the Sacred Heart: Nuns’ Production of Paraphernalia and the Making of Sentimental Catholicism in Eighteenth-Century France

16.00  Break

16.15  Keynote Lecture
Chair: Miri Rubin (QMUL)
• Mita Choudhury (Vassar College), Reflecting on Gender, Religion, and the Historian’s Craft

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