Society expected women to be obedient, humble, modest, and subservient to male authority. The Catholic Church encouraged women’s resistance, bold non-compliance, and disobedience to Protestant authority. How was it possible for a woman to be simultaneously humble and bold? Obedient and disobedient? Subservient and rebellious? By appealing to traditional ideals of “conscience”—understood as the voice of God communicated through the Holy Spirit directly to believers—women such as Catherine Holland, the lying daughter; Gertrude More, the disobedient nun; and Mary Ward, the so-called chattering hussy and galloping girl, held such seemingly opposing expectations in tension. They created new models of Catholic womanhood that allowed women to understand themselves and be understood by others as good Catholic women.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa McClain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA

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