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The Religious History of American WomenReimagining the Past$
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Catherine A. Brekus

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831021

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807867990_brekus

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The “New Woman” at the “University” Gender and American Catholic Identity in the Progressive Era

The “New Woman” at the “University” Gender and American Catholic Identity in the Progressive Era

(p.206) 8 The “New Woman” at the “University” Gender and American Catholic Identity in the Progressive Era
The Religious History of American Women

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the Americanist controversy and the relationship between Catholicism and Progressivism in the early twentieth century. Focusing on the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and drawing on both social history and gender history, it shows how Progressive ideals have shaped Catholicism and links Americanism, a late nineteenth-century ideological conflict in the Catholic Church, to anxieties over the “new woman.” The chapter also considers the founding of Trinity College for Catholic women in Washington, D.C. in the context of women's history, as well as the college's connection to Americanism. By doing so, it shows that the construction of gender was related to the articulation of religious identity in America during the Progressive Era.

Keywords:   new woman, Catholicism, Progressivism, Americanism, Trinity College, Catholic women, women's history, gender, religious identity

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