Gender and Sexuality in the Reformation

Society for Reformation Studies Conference, Westminster College, Cambridge, UK, 9-11 April 2014

Download booking form: SRS 2014 Booking Form (PDF) | SRS 2014 Booking Form (MSWord)

The Reformation affected not only men but also women. In particular, the Protestant rejection of the ideal of celibacy led to a new emphasis on the centrality of the family and on the roles of both the paterfamilias and materfamilias. Through the closure of monasteries and convents, the Protestant Reformation affected the options open to women as well as men, and particularly possibilities for women’s education. Shifts in the understandings of the legal place of marriage brought with them changes to the legal and social status of women. Women as well as men could either support or reject evangelical ideas, reading the Bible and responding to the call to proclaim the Gospel in ways which were deeply shaped by these changing expectations of correct gender roles. Women in the early Protestant Reformation who claimed the right to proclaim the Gospel in word or print might be silenced by either supporters or opponents of the Reformation cause. Classical concepts of masculinity and femininity might be read to modulate or contradict biblical views. The Reformation resulted in shifts in ways of thinking about and defining masculinity and femininity.

 Keynote speakers will include

  • Professor Merry Wiesner-Hanks (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
  • Professor Kaspar von Greyerz(University of Basel)
  • Dr Sarah Apetrei (University of Oxford)

We invite papers (25 minutes maximum) exploring any aspect of gender and sexuality in the Reformation.  As always, papers which reflect the current work of participants, regardless of their relevance to the theme, are also very welcome.

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