Sisters of early modern confraternities in a small town in the Southern Netherlands (Aalst)
Faculty of Arts. History
Urban history. - Cambridge, 1992, currens
, p. 247-270
University of Antwerp
This article analyses female agency within the religious confraternities active in an early modern town in the Southern Netherlands in order to gain an insight into women's positions within a (semi-)public urban network and thus beyond the household. The analysis suggests that confraternities did not provide women with opportunities to develop a significant public role within the town. Nonetheless, while there is little evidence that early modern religious confraternities functioned as social networks, female agency on the religious level of confraternal life did exist. It is argued that many of these women were active agents in their own spiritual lives.