Visionary Women: Ecstatic Prophecy in Seventeenth-Century England

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University of California Press, Jan 5, 1995 - History - 488 pages
This study of radical prophecy in 17th-century England explores the significance of gender for religious visionaries between 1650 and 1700. Phyllis Mack focuses on the Society of Friends, or Quakers, the largest radical sectarian group active during the English Civil War and Interregnum. The meeting records, correspondence, almanacs, autobiographical and religious writings left by the early Quakers enable Mack to present a textured portrait of their evolving spirituality. Parallel sources on men and women provide a unique opportunity to pose theoretical questions about the meaning of gender, such as whether a "women's spirituality" can be identified, or whether religious women are more or less emotional than men.
 

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Contents

Introduction
8
Woman Nature and Spirit
15
Male and Female Power Visionary Women and the Social Order
45
Talking Back Women as Prophets during the Civil War and Interregnum 16401655
87
Ecstasy and SelfTranscendence
127
Prophecy
165
Ecstasy and Everyday Life
212
How Were Quakers Radical?
236
The Snake in the Garden Quaker Politics and the Origin of the Womens Meeting
265
The Mystical Housewife
305
Selfhood and Enlightenment Quaker Preaching and Discipline 16641700
351
Epilogue
403
WellKnown Women Visionaries of the 1640s and Early 1650s
413
Bibliography
425
Index
455
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About the author (1995)

Phyllis Mack, Professor of History at Rutgers University, is the author of Calvinist Preaching and Iconoclasm in the Netherlands, 1544 - 1569.

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