Download Amazons, Wives, Nuns, and Witches: Women and the Catholic by Carole A. Myscofski PDF

By Carole A. Myscofski

The Roman Catholic church performed a dominant position in colonial Brazil, in order that women’s lives within the colony have been formed and restricted by means of the Church’s beliefs for natural ladies, in addition to through parallel ideas within the Iberian honor code for ladies. documents left by means of Jesuit missionaries, Roman Catholic church officers, and Portuguese Inquisitors clarify that women’s day-by-day lives and their possibilities for marriage, schooling, and non secular perform have been sharply circumscribed through the colonial interval. but those comparable files additionally supply evocative glimpses of the non secular ideals and practices that have been specifically adored or independently built by way of girls for his or her personal use, constituting a separate international for better halves, moms, concubines, nuns, and witches.

Drawing on broad unique examine in basic manuscript and revealed resources from Brazilian libraries and information, in addition to secondary Brazilian ancient works, Carole Myscofski proposes to put in writing Brazilian girls again into heritage, to appreciate how they lived their lives in the society created via the Portuguese imperial executive and Luso-Catholic ecclesiastical associations. Myscofski deals specific explorations of the Catholic colonial perspectives of the best lady, the styles in women’s schooling, the non secular perspectives on marriage and sexuality, the background of women’s convents and retreat homes, and the advance of magical practices between girls in that period. one of many few wide-ranging histories of girls in colonial Latin the US, this publication makes a very important contribution to our wisdom of the early smooth Atlantic World.

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Additional info for Amazons, Wives, Nuns, and Witches: Women and the Catholic Church in Colonial Brazil, 1500-1822

Sample text

In Caminha’s report, the Indian women, like the land he encountered, exhibited pleasant but sometimes duplicitous characteristics. The available and desirable women he glimpsed seemed both innocent and dishonorable: they betrayed no awareness or understanding of the rules they violated in their dress and comportment, but their ignorance also left Amazons and Cannibals { 27 } them vulnerable to temptation and susceptible to abuse by the Portuguese. Without the protections afforded by social connections or family status, their failure to comprehend their condition proved dangerous to themselves and their would-­be conquerors.

Here, the increasingly hostile portraits of women not only expressed the growing antipathy of the Portuguese and other Europeans toward the New World, but also justified the violence rendered to the land and its people—conquest and slavery were the results. The European ‘ Other ’ The representations of savages and barbarians in America, as has been suggested by recent historians,3 emerged from a complex of traditional arguments in classical and Christian Europe depicting different types of human beings and a deep rift between the civilized world and the realms of wilderness.

Although the women, like the land, seemed accessible and open, untouched by cultivation or corruption, they initially defied efforts by religious and civil authorities to regulate their lives and bodies. Their temporary status as innocents demanded civil protection and religious indoctrination, but only so that they might come to understand the full scope of divine law and human sinfulness. With the first moments of proselytization, their condition changed from innocent to shameless, and from invulnerable to dishonorable.

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