The Newberry Library in Chicago hosted a conference on Early Modern Religious: Comparative Contexts this weekend.
The conference offered comparative perspectives on monks, friars, nuns, and lay people who were involved in Catholic religious orders in early modern European, Mediterranean, Latin American, Asian, and Oceanian contexts. The conference participants emphasized that the history of religious orders needs to involve gendered perspectives that compare monks’ and nuns’ experiences. A number of the papers also stressed viewing cloisters as having permeable boundaries that allowed for many forms of interaction between religious communities and lay communities in the outside world.
Barbara Diefendorf and Megan Armstrong presented fascinating papers on early modern French Capuchins and Franciscans in southern France and the Mediterranean.
The conference program is available online at the Newberry Library website.