A Foreign and Wicked Institution?: The Campaign Against Convents in Victorian England

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9780227679920: A Foreign and Wicked Institution?: The Campaign Against Convents in Victorian England
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Many in Victorian England harboured deep suspicion of convent life. In addition to looking at anti-Catholicism and the fear of both Anglican and Catholic sisterhoods that were established during the nineteenth century, this work explores the prejudice that existed against women in Victorian England who joined sisterhoods and worked in orphanages and in education and were committed to social work among the urban poor. Women, according to some of these critics, should remain passive in matters of religion. Nuns, however, did play an important role in many areas of life in nineteenth-century England and faced hostility from many who felt threatened and challenged by members of female religious orders.

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About the Author:

Fr. Rene Kollar has been a member of the faculty of Saint Vincent College since 1981. A graduate of the former Saint Vincent Preparatory School, he earned a bachelor of arts degree from Saint Vincent College, a Master of Divinity Degree from Saint Vincent Seminary, and a Master of Arts Degree and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Review:

"I highly recommend this work; it is essential and fascinating reading for all those interested in the history of English prejudice--especially on those inflammatory topics of the (Roman) Catholic Church, monasticism, and the emancipation of women."
--Hugo Meynell
author of Redirecting Philosophy and Postmodernism and the New Enlightenment (2000)

"In 2010, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. hosted the exhibit, 'Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America.' It was a must-see testament to their magnificent accomplishments. A Foreign and Wicked Institution? by Fr. Rene Kollar is further testament to the role Catholic and Anglican sisters fulfilled in Victorian England. Despite outstanding accomplishments, they confronted bigotry and scandals within their ranks. This book is a must-read for a deeper understanding of the joys and pains of institutions devoted to God's work."
 
--Eugene Hemrick
Columnist for the Catholic News Service
Director of the Institute for the Renewal of the Priesthood
Director of Institutional Research at Washington Theological Union

"Rene Kollar focuses on congregations of religious women in this clear, concise examination of popular anti-Catholicism. He deftly interweaves their confessions with Catholic attempts to explain the true nature of religious life, and to discredit their opponents. Demands that society correct these atrocities through abolition or control threatened not only the sisterhoods themselves, but the Roman Church. In separate but interrelated chapters, Kollar considers the legends, the stories, the lies and the works of Roman and Anglican sisterhoods. Neither blind to faults nor ignorant of abuses, Kollar writes with an eye on the present in which a way of life is again judged by the faults of a few."

--T. M. McCoog, S.J. 
Fordham University

"Using a rich variety of sources, Rene Kollar has given us excellent essays on the struggles for the establishment of Anglican and Roman Catholic religious orders in Victorian England against social, and mostly male, prejudice, suspicion and ignorance. The essays deal with particular episodes and contribute color and depth to our understanding of religious prejudice in Victorian England and the sheer persistence and resilience of these women of faith.  Richly textured, thoroughly researched and elegantly written."
--The Revd Dr Bruce Kaye
Editor, The Journal of Anglican Studies --Wipf and Stock Publishers

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9780227903117: A Foreign and Wicked Institution?: The Campaign Against Convents in Victorian England

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ISBN 10:  0227903110 ISBN 13:  9780227903117
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