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Alone at the altar : single women and devotion in Guatemala, 1670-1870

Author: Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara
Publisher: Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, [2018] ©20
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
By 1700, Guatemala's capital was a mixed-race "city of women." As in many other cities across colonial Spanish America, labor and migration patterns in Guatemala produced an urban female majority and high numbers of single women, widows, and female household beads. In this history of religious and spiritual life in the Guatemalan capital, Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara focuses on the sizable population of ordinary,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Church history
History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Leavitt-Alcántara, Brianna.
Alone at the altar.
Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, 2017
(DLC) 2017030514
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara
ISBN: 9781503603684 1503603687
OCLC Number: 985078617
Description: xiii, 297 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Contents: City of women, city of God : poor, single, and holy in Santiago de Guatemala --
Unlikely allies : missionaries and laywomen --
Sex, honor, and devotion --
To educate and evangelize : laywomen, clergy, and late-colonial girls' schools --
The controversial ecstasy of Sor María Teresa Aycinena --
"With knives drawn" : gender, devotion, and politics after independence.
Responsibility: Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara.

Abstract:

By 1700, Guatemala's capital was a mixed-race "city of women." As in many other cities across colonial Spanish America, labor and migration patterns in Guatemala produced an urban female majority and high numbers of single women, widows, and female household beads. In this history of religious and spiritual life in the Guatemalan capital, Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara focuses on the sizable population of ordinary, non-elite women living outside of both marriage and convent. Although officials often expressed outright hostility toward poor unmarried women, many of these women managed to position themselves at the forefront of religious life in the city. Through an analysis of more than 500 wills, hagiographies, religious chronicles, and ecclesiastical records, Alone at the Altar examines how laboring women forged complex alliances with Catholic priests and missionaries and how those alliances significantly shaped local religion, the spiritual economy, and late colonial reform efforts. It considers the local circumstances and global Catholic missionary movements chat fueled official collaboration with poor single women and support for diverse models of feminine piety. Extending its analysis past Guatemalan Independence to 1870, this book also illuminates how women's alliances with the Catholic Church became politicized in the Independence era and influenced the rise of popular conservatism in Guatemala. Book jacket.

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"This is a highly innovative study with important and often unexpected findings. Leavitt-Alcantara constructs a sophisticated analysis of the religiosity and church affiliations of urban Guatemalan Read more...

 
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