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Title: Inlargednesse of mind and activity of spirit : gender identities in the religious writings of mid-seventeenth-century England
Author: Warzycha, Anna K.
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2012
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In dominant seventeenth-century thinking women's bodies, minds, and spirits were not only inferior to men's, but also more prone to evil. This study explores the ways in which the women writers attempted to redefine these assumptions. Through an analysis organised along various spiritual transformations the writers claim to go through, the study presents an insight into seventeenth-century women's construction and redefinition of femininity. The symbolic process of women's spiritual transfiguration results in them identifying with the metaphorical figure of Zion and in positioning women as godly agents of God, whereas male writers' transformations eventuate in their being effeminized and being turned into 'Crooked Agents' of God. Therefore, the study shows how the potentials inherent in the biblical figure of Zion were used in establishing a connection with God and in forming female and male authorial identity. The thesis draws on the understudied voices of women such as the anonymous Eliza, Elizabeth Major, An Collins or Gertrude More, and is contextualized by male-authored texts, some of them considered as canonical and popular in contemporary literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Women ; Seventeenth century ; Zion ; Mystical marriage ; Body ; Mind ; Spirit ; Aristotle ; Augustine ; Song of Songs