Bringing the study of early modern Christianity into dialogue with Atlantic history, this collection provides a longue durée investigation of women and religion within a transatlantic context. Taking as its starting point the work of Natalie Zemon Davis on the effects of confessional difference among women in the age of religious reformations, the volume expands the focus to broader temporal and geographic boundaries. The result is a series of essays examining the effects of religious reform and revival among women in the wider Atlantic world of Europe, the Americas, and West Africa from 1550 to 1850. Taken collectively, the essays in this volume chart the extended impact of confessional divergence on women over time and space, and uncover a web of transatlantic religious interaction that significantly enriches our understanding of the unfolding of the Atlantic World. Divided into three sections, the volume begins with an exploration of ’Old World Reforms’ looking afresh at the impact of confessional change in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries upon the lives of European women. Part two takes this forward, tracing the adaptation of European religious forms within Africa and the Americas. The third and final section explores the multifarious faces of the revival that inspired the nineteenth century missionary movement on both sides of the Atlantic. Collectively the essays underline the extent to which the development of the Atlantic World created a space within which an unprecedented series of juxtapositions, collisions, and collusions among religious traditions and practitioners took place. These demonstrate how the religious history of Europe, the Americas, and Africa became intertwined earlier and more deeply than much scholarship suggests, and highlight the dynamic nature of transatlantic cross-fertilization and influence.
Women and Religion in the Atlantic Age, 1550-1900