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Means of Submission or Symbol of Protest? The Habit of the Sister of St Charles Borromeo Amalie Augustine von Lasaulx (1815–1872)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the significance of clerical and religious clothing, its meaning and symbolism. It considers the life of Amalie von Lasaulx, who took the veil and became Sister Augustine. As a consequence of her protest against the papal dogmas of the First Vatican Council (1870), she was removed from her position as Mother Superior; she died in 1872. The chapter explores the different contemporary interpretations of Sister Augustine's habit. Sister Augustine was not seen as an actor and was less visible in this view. However, a re-reading of the two biographies about her together with the newly-found sources offers another picture of her: not that of a dependent woman, but of a clear-minded and determined nun and leader who knew her own religious principles and followed them. It has become clear that clothing is an important means of religious communication and for the expression of religious conflict.

Keywords: Amalie von Lasaulx; First Vatican Council; Mother Superior; religious clothing; religious symbolism; Sister Augustine

10.1163/9789004264069_021
/content/books/b9789004264069_021
dcterms_subject,pub_keyword
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