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Gender roles and perspectives among Anabaptist And Spiritualist groups

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Chapter Summary

Despite recent efforts to emphasize commonalities among multitude of radical religious groups, diversity still remains the hallmark of Radical Reformation and Anabaptism. The leading questions among historians of Anabaptist women have been what positions and functions women held and whether women experienced more equality in these heterodox groups than in other early modern religious movements. Besides wrestling with major question of how much equality women really had in these heterodox movements, scholars have been engaged in several debates regarding the role of women in Anabaptism and Spiritualism: their numerical share among Anabaptists, their motives for joining movements, and their level of involvement. Inquiry into other topics such as Anabaptist values and their understanding of marriage has opened new perspectives on both men and women. A look at punishment and martyrdom offers evidence that both confirms and suspends traditional gender divisions. This chapter discusses the insights that have been gained in these areas.

Keywords: Anabaptist; gender roles; heterodox movements; martyrdom; punishment; radical reformation; religious groups; spiritualism



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