Doctors, silly poor women, and Rebel Whores: The gendering of conscience in foxe's acts and monuments
The fashioning of the female and of female conscience reveals that gender ideology served both churches as a weapon in the Reformation debate. Foxe sets Protestant enlightenment against Catholic ignorance, the suffering of the "true" church against Catholic tyranny and cruelty, and Protestant reliance on God's power against a clerical-centered Catholicism, invoking patriarchal ideology to support the binaries of "anti-popery" which inform his text as a contest between the "true" church and the "false" church. Foxe's account of the English Reformation as a female history parallels his account of a popular Reformation, a conflation that had power to scandalize conservatives who would continue in the seventeenth century to link the female preacher with the praying cobbler as emblems of social heresy. The examinations recorded by Foxe in Acts and Monuments as well as studies of pre-Reformation Lollardry indicate that nonconformist women, even the illiterate, had a command of large portions of scripture.
John Foxe and his World
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Robinson, Marsha S., "Doctors, silly poor women, and Rebel Whores: The gendering of conscience in foxe's acts and monuments" (2017). Kean Publications. 1695.