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Sectirische und begeisterte Weibes-Personen. On the Gynaeceum Haeretico Fanaticum by J. H. Feustking (1704)

Adelisa Malena

Résumé

In 1704, the Lutheran pastor and theologian, Johann Heinrich Feustking, published a work entitled Gynaeceum Haeretico Fanaticum, a collection of names and profiles of women who, from Eve onwards, in every time and place were supposed – according to the author’s judgement – to have caused disturbance and unrest among the faithful. However, by perusing the index of names in the Gynaeceum, one is immediately aware that not only heretics in the strict sense of the word appear in the gallery of characters compiled by the Lutheran theologian, that is, women already condemned as such by the Church (or by the Churches), but also canonized saints and great mystics of the Middle Ages, mystics of the Early Modern Age, female figures from the dawn of Christianity and even from the Old Testament. Next to these, there are many Quaker women, and women linked to Pietist groups, but also to Catholic Quietism and figures of “chretiennes sans église”: namely, restless consciences, and women who moved outside or at the margins of the confessional churches of the time.On examining the wide spectrum of cases dealt with in the Gynaeceum, the first question that comes to mind is: what did all these women have in common in Feustking’s eyes? Why did he include experiences of such different natures and outcomes in his lexicon? To find an answer to these questions, the author tries to analyse from inside those ideals and religious conceptions on which Feustking’s work is based, and follow the thread of his reasoning.
The essay aims to outline just a few among the many readings offered by a rich and complex source which lends itself to questioning from different perspectives, and discusses the possibility of using this source in a history of gender relations and in a social history of culture.
The author’s working hypothesis is to use Feustking’s work as a hypertext, a starting point to explore also the networks of relationships, exchanges and contacts between dissident groups, and the circulation of texts and ideas. She proposes to relate to andcompare this source with documents of another nature. The use of a heterogeneous corpus of sources will allow for the interweaving of various levels of analysis and different visual angles, combining and intersecting an emic perspective – that is, inherent to the protagonists’ system of signs - with an etic perspective, which utilises categories belonging to other cultural systems.

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Notes de l’auteur

A previous version of this paper has been published in Italian: A. Malena, “Donnette” settarie e invasate. Intorno al Gynaeceum Haeretico Fanaticum di J. H. Feustking (1704), in « Rivista di storia del cristianesimo », 4 (2/2007), p. 369-394.

Texte intégral

  • 1  J.H. Feustking, Gynaeceum haeretico fanaticum, Oder Historie und Beschreibung Der falschen Prophet (...)

1In 1704, the Lutheran pastor and theologian, Johann Heinrich Feustking, published a work entitled Gynaeceum Haeretico Fanaticum, or « a history and description of false prophetesses, quacks, fanatics and other sectarian and frenzied female-persons through whom God’s Church is disturbed »1.

  • 2  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 185-186.
  • 3 Ibid., p. 434-437.
  • 4 Ibid., p. 231-234.
  • 5 Ibid., p. 389- 391.
  • 6 Ibid., p. 204-209.
  • 7 Ibid., p. 290-293.
  • 8 Ibid., p. 314- 317.
  • 9 Ibid., p. 351- 354.
  • 10 Ibid., p. 507-508.
  • 11 Ibid., p. 612-620.
  • 12 Ibid., p. 187-188.
  • 13 Ibid., p. 274; p. 308-314.
  • 14 Ibid., p. 381- 383.
  • 15 Ibid., p. 638-646.
  • 16 Ibid., p. 599-501.
  • 17 Ibid., p. 325-338.
  • 18  Leszek Kolakowski, Chrétiens sans Église. La connaissance religieuse et le lien confessionel au XV (...)
  • 19  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 188-200. On Bourignon see Mirjam de Baar, 'Ik moet spreken'. Het spiritue (...)
  • 20  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 593- 601. Anna Maria van Schurman, Eukleria, seu melioris partis electio. (...)
  • 21  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 356-362. Barbara Becker Cantarino (ed.), Hoyers, Anna Ovena, Geistliche u (...)

2It is a dense collection of names and profiles of women who, from Eve onwards, in every time and place were supposed   according to the author’s judgement – to have caused disturbance and unrest among the faithful. The central section of the work (divided into 3 parts), consists of a regular lexicon, in which the entries relating to female figures from different periods and geographical areas are listed in a single alphabetical series – from “Agape” to “Zenonis”. The overall design, therefore, appears to be that of a sort of encyclopedia of female heresy – or better, fanaticism. However, by perusing the index of names in the Gynaeceum, one is immediately aware that not only heretics in the strict sense of the word appear in the gallery of characters compiled by the Lutheran theologian, that is, women already condemned as such by the Church (or by the Churches) – for example Wilhelmina Bohema2,Margaret of Porete3,Magdalena de la Cruz4 and Giulia Di Marco5– but also canonized saints and great mystics of the Middle Ages like Bridget of Sweden6, Angela of Foligno7,Gertrude of Helfta8, Hildegard of Bingen9, Agnes of Montepulciano10 and Catherine of Siena11; mystics of the Early Modern Age – including Catherine of Bologna12, Catherine of Genoa13, Maria de Agreda14, Teresa of Avila15 and Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi16, and female figures from the dawn of Christianity and even from the Old Testament. Next to these, the most numerous group is that of Quaker women, to whom a good 28 entries are dedicated, and – as we shall see – women linked to Pietist groups, but also to Catholic Quietism (first and foremost Madame Guyon17). Interesting figures of “chretiennes sans église”, to use L. Kolakowski’s expression: namely, restless consciences, and women who moved outside or at the margins of the confessional churches of the time18. For example, Antoinette Bourignon, described by Feustking as a veritably monstrous being19.Or Anna Maria van Schurmann, known within the republic of letters as “Minerva of Holland”, theologian, artist and polyglot woman of letters, who ended her days in the New Jerusalem founded by Jean de Labadie, consistent with a precise spiritual and religious choice, expressed and vigorously defended by her in that fascinating blend of theological discussion and autobiography that is her Euklerìa, or choice of the better part, which she herself had published20.Among the lesser known figures, I would like to mention at least Anna Ovena Hoyer, a German woman, who – during the Thirty Years’ War - was the author of religious and political satirical texts in prose and verse, in which she used the canons of devotional literature in a fiercely polemic vein, railing against the Lutheran clergy and the political institutions of her time21.

3In short, on examining the wide spectrum of cases dealt with in the Gynaeceum, the first question that comes to mind is: what did all these women have in common in Feustking’s eyes? Why did he include experiences of such different natures and outcomes in his lexicon? To find an answer to these questions, it is useful to analyse from inside those ideals and religious conceptions on which Feustking’s work is based, and follow the thread of his reasoning. This is what I propose doing, in a summary manner, in this paper, bringing to your attention just a few among the many readings offered by a rich and complex source which lends itself to questioning from different perspectives. I will attempt to reference brief segments of text, and finally, I will offer some provisional conclusions on the possibility of using this source for a history of gender relations.

  • 22  See the entry Feustking, Johann Heinrich, in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, (1. Auflage), Leipzig (...)
  • 23 Gottfried Arnolds Unpartheyische Kirchen- und Ketzer-Historie, vom Anfang des Neuen Testaments biss (...)

4§ 1. First of all, I believe it would be useful to provide a little information about the author. Johann Heinrich Feustking was born in 1672 in Stellau, in Schleswig Holstein. He studied theology in Rostock and Wittenberg, and was then a pastor in Jessen, and superintendent in various Saxon cities (including Kemberg, where he wrote the Gynaeceum). He was later preacher at the Court of Prince Karl Wilhelm von Anhalt-Zerbst, professor of theology in Wittenberg, and died in Gotha in 1713. He published various works, the majority of which represent a complement to his busy pastoral activities22. For all his life, Feustking was a fierce opponent of the Pietist movement, which in his eyes represented the principal threat to the Lutheran Church of the time, and was the controversial subject of several of his writings, including the Gynaeceum.  In order to strike at Pietism – a movement of many souls, under which often very different trends were grouped – he took aim in this work at some of the most radical expressions, foremost among them being the thought of Gottfried Arnold, as it was framed in the monumental Impartial History of the Church and its Heretics, printed for the first time in Frankfurt between 1699 and 170023.

  • 24  Feustking, Gynaeceum, “Dedicatio” (no page number).
  • 25 Gothofredi Historia et descriptio theologiae mysticae, seu theosophiae arcanae et reconditae, itemq (...)

5According to Feustking, Arnold’s impiety lay precisely in that “impartiality”, in the name of which the famous Pietist refused all apologetics and placed orthodoxies and expressions of religious dissent and anti-conformism on the same level, identifying the religious piety of the faithful (Frömmigkeit), as the sole decisive criterion for weighing spiritual experiences. This was an unacceptable attitude for Feustking, who saw such impartiality as a synonym for indifferentism and libertinism, and an attempt to uncritically rehabilitate all heretics. Furthermore, Arnold, in line with his «affectibus corrupta opinio», was seen to have given excessive credit to women’s words, visions and prophecies24. And it was precisely on these grounds that the orthodox Lutheran pastor unleashed his attack on his adversary, to strike out at and demolish the Impartial History and the Historia et descriptio theologiae mysticae (1702) which conceded so much room to the holy women, mystics and prophetesses of all times25. I will not linger over this aspect, but I would, however, like to emphasize that Arnold’s work, characterized by a strong female presence, is not only the target of the author of the Gynaeceum’s polemics, but also – and this should be borne in mind – his main documentary source, and, therefore, his main source of knowledge. To discredit his adversary, Feustking symbolically isolates those female figures in a “gynaeceum” (or Frauenzimmer), sentencing them en masse without appeal.

6It was a sure and highly effective way of throwing a negative light on the work and the thought of his adversary, and on all Pietism in general, accused – as we will see – of giving too much credence to the fanaticism of inspired visionaries and false prophetesses. It was also, however, a clear-cut stance on the role of women in the Church and in religious life.

7In every age – according to Feustking’s theory – the devil chose women as his favoured instruments and the entire history of humanity was proof of this: behind every error and heresy, and behind every form of fanaticism (Schwärmerey) and enthusiasm (Enthusiasmus) – expressions that in Feustking’s language and vision of the world become synonymous – there was always the presence of one or more women:

  • 26  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 458-459: «Die Schwärmerey ist das gifftige Seelen-Pulver / welches vorwit (...)

8Schwärmerey is the poisonous spiritual powder (Seelen-Pulver) that crafty, ambitious and curious little women (Weiblinnen) have scattered among human beings since the beginning of time26.

  • 27  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 108-110.
  • 28 Ibid., p. 444-450; p. 515-523; p. 525-529.
  • 29 Ibid., p. 424-427.
  • 30 Ibid., p. 457-458.
  • 31 Ibid., p. 668-670.
  • 32 Ibid., p. 129-133.
  • 33 Ibid., p. 433-434.
  • 34 Dux Foemina Facti Haereseos Vel Autor Vel Fautor Sive Mulier Heterodoxa : Ad Locum Hieronymi in epi (...)

9The use of the term is indicative, and reflects the author’s own conception of gender roles: in fact the passage quoted here speaks of Weiblinnen, or “little women”, a term with a highly negative connotation, as opposed to Weiber or Weibes-Personen, which instead Feustking uses with a neutral meaning. The distinction is made explicit through a reference to 2 Tim. 3, 6-7 (which speaks of “foolish women full of sin, moved by passions of every kind, who are always striving to learn, without ever reaching an awareness of the truth”): they are the ones the devil made use of as malleable instruments to cause damage to the church and to all humanity. The difference between “women” (Weiber) and “little women” (Weiblinnen) is, therefore, considerable: «by women it is meant those who stay in their sphere (Bezirk), and do that which is prescribed for their sex», on the other hand « little women are silly, loose, thoughtless women (mulieres abjectae sortis, in genere mulierum leviores), who allow themselves to be captivated by false doctrines through sweet, slippery words, and believe in all spirits». It is these latter, the mulierculae, who are seductresses, Quakers and fanatics, and not the wise, pious Christian women (Weiber), who are the subject of his writings27. After a series of female figures from the Old Testament – guilty of leading their husbands, sons or all the Hebrew people astray and leading them into idolatry – Feustking goes on to the heresies and sects of ancient Christianity, which – he says – were inspired and kindled by “little women”: for the heretic Montano there were the false prophetesses, Priscilla, Massimilla and Quintilla28; for Donatus Lucilla29, for Rufinus Melania30, and for Paul of Samosata, Queen Zenobia31; for Elvidio, a certain Agape32, for the Gnostics, Marcellina33, and so on. The main source for this reasoning (which Feustking takes from Johannes Andreas Schmidt’s dissertation Mulier heterodoxa34) is St Jerome’s famous letter “ad Ctesiphontem”.

  • 35  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 417-419.
  • 36  Arnold, Unpartheyische Kirchen- und Ketzer-Historie, II, XVI, chapter XXi, §§ 44-52, p. 750-778. O (...)
  • 37  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 430.

10Similar patterns re-proposed the same immutable diabolical trickery in always differing forms. And yet, Feustking saw a progression from the shadows to the light in the way in which the Evil One had burst into the history of God’s Church: a tripartite scheme in which Satan had manifested himself first as a black devil at the time of the martyrdom and persecution of the early Christians; then dressed in white at the time of the ancient heresies, when his poison began to attack the souls of the faithful, and finally clothed in light and in the divine guises of the papist Antichrist and the “heavenly prophets”. It was what had happened in the times of Luther, principally through Anabaptist enthusiasm (Enthusiasmus, Schwärmerey), once more stirred up by women. Like the visionary, Ursula Leonhard of Strasbourg, who with her revelations had inspired the actions of Melchior Hoffmann, leader of the movement in the Alsatian city35. Or like the Dutch Anna van Briel, domestic prophetess (Haus-prophetin) with the heretical David Joris – whom Arnold numbers among the «testes veritatis»36. But for Feustking, the highest point of demonic seduction in that era was characterized by the events in Münster, where polygamy had become the law, thanks to two prophets, Jan van Leyden and Jan Matthis, and their many women. Among them was a certain Alcida Lystingia, a wealthy citizen of Amsterdam, who in Münster was finally able to «give birth to her mad folly, of which she had long been pregnant in Holland, and in this way poisoned and corrupted a great number of simple people»37.

11In Feustking’s eyes, the Schwärmer Anabaptists were the direct ancestors of the Schwärmer of his times: namely, the Pietists, who were at the centre of his polemical reasoning and the basis of his argument. Indeed, one of the more numerous and better documented groups in his lexicon is that of women tied (in some degree) to the Pietist movement, on some of whom I would like to go into more detail.

  • 38  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 117-118: «... wodurch ist der unseelige Pietismus in unserer Kirchen ents (...)
  • 1

12§ 2 Feustking continually stresses that Pietism was the fruit of perverse female influences. It supposedly had its origins in the «divine communications (Bezeugungen), the mystic ecstatic trances (Raptus) and the enthusiasm of little women (Weiblinnen)», such as Asserburg and Merlau, and the «inspired virgins of Erfurt, Quedlinburg and Halberstadt», all names I will come back to shortly. Furthermore, Pietism had been nourished by «every kind of suspect book by women such as Caterina da Genova, Madame Guyon, etc.». Once again, the target of his polemic here is Arnold, who thought he could substitute the true word of God with «the writings of the Hildegardes, Gertrudes and Matildas, and of Angela of Foligno, Jane Leade, Jeanne de Cambray, etc.»38. Feustking was making direct reference to the arguments used by Luther against “heavenly prophets”, guilty of having «filled the world with their chatter and their writings», to the detriment of God’s word39. In this case, furthermore, many of the women concerned belonged to the Papist church, a dangerous proximity that threw an even more disturbing light on Pietist Schwärmerey.

  • 40  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 141-156. Johann Wilhelm Petersen (1649- 1727) was the author of the text (...)
  • 41  On Petersen see the entry by Klaus-Gunther Wesseling in Biographisch- Bibliographisch Kirchenlexic (...)
  • 42  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 458-482; p. 501-502. On the couple Petersen see Markus, Matthias, Johann (...)
  • 43 Anleitung zu gründlicher Verständniß der heiligen Offenbahrungen Jesu Christi (...), Frankfurt/Leip (...)
  • 44  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 460-461: «... Denn da sie den Spruch Apoc. 1.3 seelig ist / der da lieset (...)
  • 45  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 463-464.
  • 46  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 482. Feustking refers here to Eleonora’s work DasewigeEvangeliumderallgem (...)
  • 47  J.E. Merlau Petersen, Gespräche des Hertzens mit Gott. Plön, Ripenau und Schmidt, 1689.

13The passage cited, however, does not speak only of books and doctrine, but also of flesh and blood people, some of whom were still alive when Feustking published his Gynaeceum, and were in any event well known in the Germany of his time. In first place, “Asserburgin” and “Merlauin”, namely Rosamunde Juliane von der Asserburg, a visionary from Magdeburg – whose revelations and prophecies had become famous in the Lutheran Germany of the end of seventeenth century through the texts and Flugschriften that men of science and doctrine had dedicated to her case40 - and Johanna Eleonora Merlau. Both were tied to the radical Pietist, Johann Wilhelm Petersen (the latter of the two being his wife)41. It is not possible to deal with the famous Peterson couple here. It is enough to recall that while the pair had initially been fervid supporters of Pietist Philipp Jacob Spener’s reform programme, they had progressively broken away from the latter’s moderate position, manifesting a marked separatist tendency and taking on strong Chiliastic tones, also clearly expressed in their many publications. Feustking dedicates two entries to Johanna Eleonora von Merlau Petersen, as well as making frequent references to her in different parts of the work42. The importance of this personage emerges not only from how widely she is dealt with, but also from the rhetoric and polemics the author brings to bear against her and against her writings, above all, the commentary on John’s Apocalypse that Eleonora had published in 1696, where she interpreted the visions and images present in John’s text in a Chiliastic vein43. After presenting the reading proposed by Merlau as unfounded and fanciful – she claimed to have «found and understood prodigious things (Wunder-Dinge)» in the Book of the Apocalypse44 – Feustking, with the blow of an able polemicist, accused the woman of plagiarism, naming one by one the authors from whom Eleonora was said to have taken her theory (but never cited by her), branding Frau Petersen’s “delivery” as «a son of the father, rather than a daughter of the mother»45. It seems significant to me that the effective and even banal metaphor of a delivery recurs often with reference to Eleonora’s writings (as with other female authors cited in Gynaeceum, and Arnold himself too), evidently to suggest their “uterine” nature, and much of the time in terms of a monstrous birth (Missgeburth) or «premature birth»46. The other arguments used in the profile dedicated to Eleonora also seem to be aimed at throwing a sinister light on her: from the elements of superstition inherent in the practice of divination that Feustking ascribes to her and her husband, to the accusation that Eleonora was the one truly responsible for the Petersen’s lot, dismissed from the office of superintendent and expelled from Lüneburg – an accusation that tied in with that of insubordination towards her husband, whom Eleonora was said to have always dominated; from the spectre raised by Feustking of a dangerous contiguity with Judaism and the Kabbalah, and, finally, the accusation of having published and dignified with print her Gespräche des Hertzens mit Gott, which – in his opinion – she would have done better to have kept in her own heart, or subjected to the judgment of expert, learned theologians47. This latter point touches a key theme of the entire work, namely that of the boundaries of the public sphere, which in Feustking’s view were, and should remain, impassive Pillars of Hercules for female words (and writings); here the women, and there the pernicious “little women”, with no escape. This is also the key to explaining the inclusion in Feustking’s gallery of female fanaticism of great medieval mystics like Catherine of Siena or Hildegard of Bingen – generally positively viewed in evangelical circles for their criticism of corrupt ecclesiastics. From Feustking’s point of view, their prophetic words and writings relegated them irremediably among the fanatic Weiblinnen, ever a cause of perturbation for God’s Church, of subversion of the entire social order and, finally, of heresy.

  • 48  On these mystics see: U. Witt, Bekehrung, p. 1- 38; Judd Stitziel, God, the Devil, Medicine, and t (...)
  • 49  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 537- 369.
  • 50 Ibid., p. 569- 593.
  • 51 Ibid., p. 220- 222 and p. 339.
  • 1
  • 53  On so called “living saints” see Gabriella Zarri, Le sante vive. Profezie di corte e devozione fem (...)

14But let us look again at the passage cited, which also mentions «possessed virgins of Erfurt, Quedlinburg and Halberstadt»48, namely Anna Maria Schuchart of Erfurt49, Magdalena Elrichs of Quedlinburg50 and Katharina Reinecke of Halberstadt51. They were three illiterate women of humble origins, whose visions, revelations, prophecies, but also ecstasies, penances, fasts and extraordinary physical signs – all manifestations which occurred over a short period of months between 1691 and 1693, in cities not too far from each other – aroused not little anxiety, especially among the exponents of orthodox Lutheranism, such as the author of the Gynaeceum. The vicissitudes of these three women, generally known as “Drey begeisterten Mägde”52 – but also of other ecstatic and visionaries who were their contemporaries, tied to the Pietist movement and active in the same geographical area – unleashed a violent storm of opinions and print. They became part of a much wider conflict which had reached its climax in those years: that between the Faculty of Theology at Leipzig – the cradle of orthodox Lutheranism – and the Pietist group at Halle. And yet it was not just a matter of controversy between scholars: the experiences and vicissitudes described in those texts (drawn up and published by learned men) make reference to a dimension of popular piety and religiousness with very concrete traits, and surprisingly similar characteristics to those observed in other confessional circles in the same era – and primarily in the Catholic world, where female “living saints” continued to be a phenomenon present during all the centuries of the Early Modern Age (and beyond)53.

  • 54  Among the theologians involved in the debate: A. H. Francke, P. J. Spener, G. C. Marquardt, J. B. (...)
  • 55  On the historical context see I. Stitziel, God, the Devil.

15It is not possible here to supply a reconstruction of the historical context in which the vicissitudes of the “begeisterte Mägde” took place, or to go into the discussion that developed following the extraordinary events of which the ecstatic were the protagonists, and which saw the involvement of theologians from different alignments54. In the entries dedicated to the ecstatic, Feustking took up a position on those events, which had happened ten years before, but which were still alive in collective memory55.

  • 56  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 537-569. A report on Schuchart was written by the physician J. Vesti: Jus (...)
  • 57  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 553-554: «Auff den Sontag Jubilate den 17 Aprilis, war sie nach so langem (...)
  • 58  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 561: «Aber aus diesem Stücklein ersiehet man allererst recht / warum Sata (...)
  • 59  On Quaker women in Feustking’s work see Stefano Villani, Donne quacchere nel XVII secolo, in «Stud (...)

16I would like to make a brief reference to the entry concerning Anna Maria Schuchart, also called “Erfurtische Liese”, or the “Pietist songstress”, a young servant from Erfurt, wife of a mason, known for her fasts, strange illnesses, long ecstasies, during which she would remain unmoving, in a trance, expressing in verses and «wonderful, unknown songs» her continuous appeals for penitence and announcements of the imminent end of the world. Of the many references to Schuchart made by the author of the Gynaeceum and of the many arguments put forward by him in dealing with the case, one episode in particular appears to be central not only to construction of the entry dedicated to the “Pietist songstress”, but also to the entire argumentative framework of the Gynaeceum56. On Easter Sunday, 1692, Anna Maria went to church, and during the sermon went into ecstasy and began to sing, announcing the end of the world and exhorting everyone to repent57. At least three reasons made the event completely unacceptable to Feustking, and laid the foundation for his harsh condemnation of the visionary of Erfurt, of the Pietist ecstatic, and of many of the “little women” who inhabit the Gynaeceum: 1) speaking in public, and what is more, during a religious function; 2) criticism of the ecclesiastical institution, and 3) prophesying. In the Lutheran theologian’s eyes, the Holy Spirit, who is a «Spirit of order» (ein Geist der Ordnung), could not possibly have been at the origin of such behaviour, and on this point he made express reference to Paul’s prohibition (I Cor. 14), which was at the heart of his concept of women’s role in Church and society58. The burden of the violation of Paul’s prohibition weighed like a millstone on the whole Pietist movement. The visionaries and their supporters, therefore, placed themselves not only outside the true Church of God, but against it, as did all the women – from the medieval mystics to theologians like Schurman, and the many prophetesses of any time, place and confession –Feustking deals with in his work. Quaker women in particular seemed to embody the quintessence of the fanaticism and enthusiasm of the Weiblinnen (interior illumination, preaching in public, prophesies, apostolate, subversion of every social, political and sexual hierarchy, challenging the established order)59.

  • 60  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 81.
  • 61  Feustking quotes Gal. 1 : 8-9.
  • 62  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 97-99: «Aus diesen und vorhin erzehlten Stücken erhellet nunmehro zur Gnü (...)
  • 63  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 101.

17Finally, the matter of the “songstresses” involved another relevant question, which reoccurs in several key points of the Gynaeceum and of which I would like to make a last mention: that of the possibility and validity of post-biblical prophecy. Feustking, in line with the orthodox Lutheran position of the time, held that after the apostolic age – that is, when the truth of the Gospel had begun to shine on all men – there would have been no further need for prophecies, visions or revelations: these, especially if from women, would have been no more than the useless « incidental light» (Nebenlicht) of «extra-biblical phosphorus»(Phosphorum extra-biblicum)60. When their contents, subjected to careful scrutiny, were revealed to conform to the Scriptures, they were, in fact, seen to be superfluous; if they did not conform, they deserved no more than disdain, and should be rejected with force61. Above and beyond the bare text of the Scriptures – which according to Paul, can and must only be interpreted and preached by men – no other truth can exist. So the words of the so-called prophetesses, precisely because they were «extra-biblical phosphorus», were useless and, in addition, dangerous and – as history was purported to show – had produced only perturbation and disorder at all times and in all places62.In the expression “teachers-prophetesses” (Lehr-prophetinnen), used by Feustking, two problems were combined: that of public speaking and that of prophecy. In expressing his convictions on the matter, Feustking clarified the historical terms of the problem: in the Old Testament and at the times of the early Christians, there had been women to whom God had given the spirit of prophecy, and there had been women called to announce the Gospel and the resurrection of Christ («apostles of the apostles»); but their historic function, limited to that precise period of human history and dictated by the need to spread the Gospel, had then come to an end once and for all.Furthermore, in his opinion, in the case of the first female apostles and prophetesses, their roles had always been exercised in the private and domestic sphere: indeed, those women had not taught or prophesized «in the temples or before the communities, but only privatim and at home», operating as «catechists» (Catechetinnen) and «devout domestic preachers» (fromme Hauspredigerinnen), not as «public teacher-prophetesses». On the other hand, the “little women” of his Gynaeceum dared to prophesy and preach in public, sometimes even thinking they could participate publicly in theological controversies and disputes – as in the case of Frau Petersen – something that should never, ever be allowed, since it was «contra decorum ecclesiae»63.

18§ 3 These seem to me to be the premises on which Feustking’s work is based, the ideological framework in which to place the female figures who inhabit the Gynaeceum, many of whom have inevitably been excluded from this brief discussion.

19In conclusion, I would like to draw attention to some possible problems relating to the use of a source like the Gynaeceum in the history of gender relations and in a social history of culture. I have attempted to draw attention to the author’s concepts, which were those of orthodox Lutheranism between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. An aspect which I feel deserves to be investigated and explored in depth, is that of the contiguity and similarity between the discursive constructions formulated during the same decades by different orthodox confessions – for example, Lutheran and Catholic – in relation to phenomena which are in many ways similar: the emergence of charismatic female figures, mystic experiences, and female prophecy. In order to give historical weight to what on the surface may seem to have no more than “a certain family likeness”, it is necessary to study – for example – the use of common sources (biblical and patristic), the transfers and borrowings of concrete cultural elements, to try to understand the contexts and vehicles of transmission of themes, stereotypes and forms of argument.  

20However, similarities and relationships do not relate only to the language and discourse of orthodox confessions. If, from the formulation of discourse, we move to the historical subject, that is, to the characters, groups and movements that are at the centre of a work such as Feustking’s, other analogies and contiguities seem to appear: one thinks, for example, of the line of female relationships Feustking establishes between Pietists, Quaker women and Catholic Quietists. Scholars have sometimes fallen into the trap of able controversialists like Feustking, by using the same categories of theologians aligned in the religious disputes as categories for historical analysis. This has led them to postulate, at times somewhat uncritically, the existence of a single renewal and reform movement, characterized by a strong, female leadership, which found expression of different forms in different confessional contexts.

21I believe that in making use of sources such as this, it is always necessary to adopt a certain amount of caution, asking oneself : 1) to what extent affinities are real, that is: how much they reflect contiguity and real relationships on a cultural, spiritual and sometimes personal level, at least between some of the women of the Gynaeceum (and of their writings); 2) whether and how far connections and relationships are established by others in clearly defined discursive contexts: on one side those of theologians and intellectuals belonging to the same groups of dissenters, engaged in the theoretical construction of a group identity (e.g. Arnold); on the other side, those of confessional orthodoxies, aiming to identify chains and genealogies of ‘error’, with the purpose of stigmatizing dissent and marginalizing female charisma.

  • 64  On emic and etic perspectives see Kenneth L. Pike, Emic and Etic Standpoints for the Description o (...)

22My working hypothesis is that we can try to use Feustking’s work as a hypertext, a starting point to explore also the networks of relationships, exchanges and contacts between dissident groups, and the circulation of texts and ideas. In conclusion, a source to relate to andcompare with documents of another nature. For instance some printed works produced in the spheres of religious dissent, which transmit and re-elaborate the spiritual experiences of charismatic women, at times reutilising and divulging texts written by them, often reincorporating them within constructions of wider range (examples of the most significant operations of this type are: G. Arnold, J. H. Reitz, and P. Poiret). On the other side, the composite corpus of sources referring to an emic level, and to the self-perception that the charismatic women had of themselves and of their own personal role. Hence of central significance will be the perusal of their writings, published and unpublished, attributable virtually in their entirety to the wide category of ego-documents. The use of a heterogeneous corpus of sources will allow for the interweaving of various levels of analysis and different visual angles, combining and intersecting an emic perspective – that is, inherent to the protagonists’ system of signs - with an etic perspective, which utilises categories belonging to other cultural systems64.

2339  Martin Luther, Schmakaldischne Artikel oder Artikel christlicher Lehre durch D. Martin Luther geschrieben 1537, in Luthers Werke, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Weimar, H. Böhlaus Nachfolger ; Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, (Weimarer Ausgabe), 1883-, Bd. 50, p. 192-254.

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Notes

1  J.H. Feustking, Gynaeceum haeretico fanaticum, Oder Historie und Beschreibung Der falschen Prophetinnen, Quäkerinnen , Schwärmerinnen, und anderen sectirischen und begeisterten Weibes-Personen, durch welche die Kirche Gottes verunruhiget worden; sambt einem Vorbericht und Anhang entgegen gesetzet denen Adeptis Godofredi Arnoldi. Frankfurt und Leipzig, In Gottfried Zimmermanns Buchladen, Anno 1704 (anastatic reprint of part I, edited by E. Gössmann, München, Iudicium-Verlag, 1998) [hereafter Feustking, Gynaeceum]. On the historical context see R. Albrecht, Einleitung. Historisch-theologische Hinführung zu Person und Werk Feustkings, here p. XVII- XLIII; Ead., Frauen, in Hartmut Lehmann (Hg.), Geschichte des Pietismus Bd. 4: Glaubenswelt und Lebenswelten, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004, p. 522- 555. See also Ulrike Witt, Bekehrung, Bildung und Biographie. Frauen im Umkreis der Halleschen Pietismus, Tübingen, Niemeyer, 1996, p. 1-3.

2  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 185-186.

3 Ibid., p. 434-437.

4 Ibid., p. 231-234.

5 Ibid., p. 389- 391.

6 Ibid., p. 204-209.

7 Ibid., p. 290-293.

8 Ibid., p. 314- 317.

9 Ibid., p. 351- 354.

10 Ibid., p. 507-508.

11 Ibid., p. 612-620.

12 Ibid., p. 187-188.

13 Ibid., p. 274; p. 308-314.

14 Ibid., p. 381- 383.

15 Ibid., p. 638-646.

16 Ibid., p. 599-501.

17 Ibid., p. 325-338.

18  Leszek Kolakowski, Chrétiens sans Église. La connaissance religieuse et le lien confessionel au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, Gallimard, 1969.

19  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 188-200. On Bourignon see Mirjam de Baar, 'Ik moet spreken'. Het spiritueel leiderschap van Antoinette Bourignon (1616-1680), Zutphen, Walburg Pers, 2004; Xenia von Tippelskirch, Antoinette Bourignon. Légitimation et condamnation de la vie mystique dans l'écriture (auto)biographique: enjeux historiographiques, in: J.-C. Arnould /Sylvie Steinberg (dir.), Les Femmes et l'écriture de l'histoire (1400-1800), Rouen, PUR, p. 231-248; see also Marthe van der Does, Antoinette Bourignon, 1616-1680: la vie et l'œuvre d'une mystique chrétienne précédées d'une bibliographie analytique des éditions de ses ouvrages et traductions et accompagnée de notes, d'une liste des ouvrages cites et d'un index, Amsterdam, Holland University Press, 1974; J. L. Irwin, Anna Maria van Schurman and Antoinette Bourignon: Contrasting Examples of seventeenth century pietism, in: «Church History» 60 (1991), p. 301-315.

20  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 593- 601. Anna Maria van Schurman, Eukleria, seu melioris partis electio. Tractatus brevem vitae ejus delineationem exhibens. [Pars 1.] Altona, Cornelis van der Meulen 1673; [Pars 2] Amsterdam, Jacob van de Velde 1685. On Schurman see M. de Baar, a. o. (eds.), Choosing the Better Part; the anthology edited by Joyce L. Irwin, Anna Maria van Schurman, Whether a Christian Woman Should Be Educated and Other Writings from Her Intellectual Circle, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1998; Ead., Anna Maria van Schurman and Antoinette Bourignon; Ead., Anna Maria van Schurman: from feminism to pietism, in «Church History», 46 (1977), p. 48-62.

21  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 356-362. Barbara Becker Cantarino (ed.), Hoyers, Anna Ovena, Geistliche und Weltliche Poemata (Amsterdam, 1650), Tübingen, Niemeyer, 1986. On Hoyer see Cornelia Niekus Moore, Anna Ovena Hoyers (1584-1655), in Kerstin Merkel and Heide Wunder (eds.), Deutsche Frauen der Frühen Neuzeit. Dichterinnen, Malerinnen, Mäzeninnen, Darmstadt, Primus Verlag, 2000, p. 65-76.

22  See the entry Feustking, Johann Heinrich, in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, (1. Auflage), Leipzig – München, (Historische Commission bei der königl. Akademie der Wissenschaften), 1875–1912, [hereafter ADB] Bd 6, (1877), p. 755, digital edition: http://mdz1.bib-bvb.de/~ndb/; R. Albrecht, Einleitung, p. XVII- XXII.

23 Gottfried Arnolds Unpartheyische Kirchen- und Ketzer-Historie, vom Anfang des Neuen Testaments biss auff das Jahr Christi 1688, .Frankfurt am Mayn, Fritsch, 1699-1715. I worked on the anastatic reprint of the following edition: Fritsch, Frankfurt a. M, 1729 (Hildesheim, Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1967). See also contribution by Xenia von Tippelskirch.

24  Feustking, Gynaeceum, “Dedicatio” (no page number).

25 Gothofredi Historia et descriptio theologiae mysticae, seu theosophiae arcanae et reconditae, itemque veterum & novorum mysticorum, Francofurti: Fritsch, 1702. One year later a German translation of this work was published: Historie und beschreibung der mystischen Teologie oder geheimen Gottes Gelehrtheit, wie auch derer alten und neuen Mysticorum, Frankfurt a.M., T. Fritsch, 1703.

26  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 458-459: «Die Schwärmerey ist das gifftige Seelen-Pulver / welches vorwitzige / ehrgeitzige und neugirige Weiblinnen unter die Menschen von Anfang biß hieher ausgestreuet haben».

27  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 108-110.

28 Ibid., p. 444-450; p. 515-523; p. 525-529.

29 Ibid., p. 424-427.

30 Ibid., p. 457-458.

31 Ibid., p. 668-670.

32 Ibid., p. 129-133.

33 Ibid., p. 433-434.

34 Dux Foemina Facti Haereseos Vel Autor Vel Fautor Sive Mulier Heterodoxa : Ad Locum Hieronymi in epist. ad Ctesiphontem / D.O.M.A. Praeside Joanne Andrea Schmidt ... Helmstadii, Hammius 1697.

35  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 417-419.

36  Arnold, Unpartheyische Kirchen- und Ketzer-Historie, II, XVI, chapter XXi, §§ 44-52, p. 750-778. On Joris’ fortune in German Pietism see Douglas Shantz, David Joris Pietist Saint: The appeal to Joris in the writings of Christian Hoburg, Gottfried Arnold and Johann Wilhelm Petersen, in «The Mennonite quarterly review», (2004) vol. 78 n° 3, p. 415-432. On relationships between Anabaptism and Pietism see also Valerio Marchetti, Saggi di storia della chiesa evangelica tedesca tra XVII e XVIII secolo, CISEC, Bologna, 1999.

37  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 430.

38  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 117-118: «... wodurch ist der unseelige Pietismus in unserer Kirchen entstanden / als durch die Bezeugungen / Raptus und Enthusiasmos der Weiblinnen / der von Asseburgin und Merlauin? Wodurch hat er seinen Fortgang gewonnen / als durch die begeisterte Jungfrauen zu Erfurt / Quedlinburg und Halberstadt? Und wodurch wird er noch anietzo unterhalten / denn eben durch allerhand verdächtige Bücher der Weiber / als der Catharinae Genevensis, der Gvioniae, &c. welche man hie und da / wie fremdes Feuer für den Altar des herrn bringet / und selbige als vortreffliche Tractätlein der geheimen Gottesgelehrtheit / mit neuen Prologis galeatis aufflegen lässet. Keiner ist darinnen so frech und verwegen / als Gottfried Arnold. Dieser weiset uns zu nichts mehr / als zu den Schrifften der Hildegardis, Gertrudis, Metchildis, Angelae de Folignia, Johannae Leade, Johannae de Cambray, &c. diese mystische Scribentinnen sollen die ienige Werckzeuge seyn / dadurch wir das rechte Gut überkommen / und zu der wahren Erkänntniß der Lehre Gottes gelangen können ».

40  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 141-156. Johann Wilhelm Petersen (1649- 1727) was the author of the text Sendschreiben an einige Theologos und Gottes-Gelehrte / Betreffend die Frage / ob Gott nach der Auffahrt Christi nicht mehr heutiges Tages durch göttliche Erscheinungen den menschenkindern sich offenbaren wolle und sich dessen gantz begeben habe? Sampt einer erzehlten specie facti Von einem Adelichen Fräulein / was ihr vom siebenden Jahr ihres Alters biss hierher von GOTT gegeben ist (1691); Philipp Jacob Spener, Theologische Bedencken über einige Puncten / Nahmentlich: 1. Die gerühmte Offenbahrungen eines Adelichen Frauleins. 2. Den D. Petersen Superin. Zu Lueneburg / und das von Ihm behauptete tausend jaerige Reich Christi, und 3. Die so genannten Pietisten Angehende, [s. l.], 1692.

41  On Petersen see the entry by Klaus-Gunther Wesseling in Biographisch- Bibliographisch Kirchenlexicon (hereafter BBKL), Bd. 7 (1994), p. 273- 275: http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/p/petersen_j_w.shtml; see also the entries: Petersen, Jean Guillaume, del Dictionaire de Spiritualité, vol. XIII (Paris 1985), coll. 1195-1198; Petersen, Johann-Wilhelm, in ADB, Band 25, p. 508-515.

42  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 458-482; p. 501-502. On the couple Petersen see Markus, Matthias, Johann Wilhelm und Johanna Eleonora Petersen: eine Biographie bis zur Amtsenthebung Petersens im Jahre 1692, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993; on Petersen’s chiliasmus see Ulrich Gäbler, Das Ehepaar Petersen – Nähe zur Moderne?, in H. Lehmann, (Hg.), Geschichte des Pietismus, Bd.4, p. 25-30. On Johanna Eleonora see R. Albrecht, Johanna Eleonora Petersen. Theologische Schriftstellerin des frühen Pietismus. Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2005.

43 Anleitung zu gründlicher Verständniß der heiligen Offenbahrungen Jesu Christi (...), Frankfurt/Leipzig 1696.

44  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 460-461: «... Denn da sie den Spruch Apoc. 1.3 seelig ist / der da lieset / und die da hören / die Worte der Weissagung / und behalten / was darinnen geschrieben ist / wohl überieget hatte / so sey sie / das Buch zu lesen / hingerissen worden / und habe im Lesen Wunder-Dinge gefunden und verstanden / nicht anders / als wenn ihr jemand die gantze Offenbahrung auff einer Taffel fürgestellet und eröffnet hätte / dadurch sie denn das grosse Licht in der Weissagung / und die Erkänntnüß des Geheimnisses von dem tausendjärigen Buch erlanget / also daß ihr die Offenbahrung worden ist eine rechte Offenbahrung / das ist / ein offenbahrtes Buch / welches auch andere Bücher offenbahret».

45  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 463-464.

46  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 482. Feustking refers here to Eleonora’s work DasewigeEvangeliumderallgemeinenWiederbringungallerCreaturen: wiesolcheunteranderninrechterErkäntnüßdesmittlernZustandesderSeelennachdemTodetieffgegründetist,[..]. [s. l.], 1698.

47  J.E. Merlau Petersen, Gespräche des Hertzens mit Gott. Plön, Ripenau und Schmidt, 1689.

48  On these mystics see: U. Witt, Bekehrung, p. 1- 38; Judd Stitziel, God, the Devil, Medicine, and the Word: a Controversy Over Ecstatic Women in Protestant Middle Germany 1691- 1693, in «Central European History», vol. 29, n.° 3, (1996), p. 309- 338.

49  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 537- 369.

50 Ibid., p. 569- 593.

51 Ibid., p. 220- 222 and p. 339.

53  On so called “living saints” see Gabriella Zarri, Le sante vive. Profezie di corte e devozione femminile tra '400 e '500, Torino, Rosenberg & Sellier, 1990; Ead. (ed.), Finzione e santità tra medioevo ed età moderna, Torino, Rosenberg & Sellier,1991; Anne Jacobson Schutte, Aspiring Saints, Pretense of Holiness, Inquisition and Gender in the Republic of Venice, 1618-1750, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 2001.

54  Among the theologians involved in the debate: A. H. Francke, P. J. Spener, G. C. Marquardt, J. B. Carpzov, F. U. Calixt, J.W. Petersen. See Außführliche Beschreibung Des Unfugs/ Welchen Die Pietisten zu Halberstadt im Monat Decembri 1692. ümb die heilige Weyhnachts-Zeit gestifftet. Dabey zugleich von dem Pietistischen Wesen in gemein etwas grundlicher gehandelt wird [s. l.], Anno 1693.

55  On the historical context see I. Stitziel, God, the Devil.

56  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 537-569. A report on Schuchart was written by the physician J. Vesti: Justus Vesti, Bericht uber Anna Maria Schuchartin von Rossel bey Frankenhausen, 16.1.1692, printed in Ernst Tentzel, Monatliche Unterredung Einiger Guten Freunde von Allerhand Buchern und andern annemlichen Geschichten. Allen Liebhabern Der Curiositaeten Zur Ergetzlichkeit und Nachsinnen herausgegeben, [s. l.], Augustus 1692, p. 631- 642.

57  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 553-554: «Auff den Sontag Jubilate den 17 Aprilis, war sie nach so langem Lager wieder in der Kirchen / da eben ihr Beicht-Vater predigte / als sie ihm aber am besten zu höret / sincket sie in Schlaff / und singet fast die halbe Predigt durch / daß Gott sein Gerichte bald wolte über die Welt ergehen lassen: Jesus werde seine Gläubigen bald abholen; Man solte doch Buße thun / und sich bekehren / und nach geendigter Predigt erstarret sie / fällt in eine formale ecstasin, viel Leute lauffen hinzu / endlich auch der Beicht-Vater / darauff sie bald wieder zu sich kommen / und nach Hause begleitet worden».

58  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 561: «Aber aus diesem Stücklein ersiehet man allererst recht / warum Satan sein Spiel mit dieser begeisterten Magd getrieben. Nemlich / daß sie eine neue Lehrerin / und Buß-Predigerin seyn solte / welche das ordentliche Predigt-Amt reformiren / die Menschen von den Schrifft ableiten / und hingegen auff Träume und Gesichter anführen solte. Denn wenn eine Person / noch darzu eine elende Weibes-Person und Dienst-Magd / sich als eine reformatorin des Ministerii, ja gar als eine Buß-Predigerin aufführet / so macht sie sich schon verdächtig; denn ist nunmehro keines Weibes Amt öffentlich die Buße zu predigen / sondern darzu sind Männer / Doctores und Pastores bestellet (Eph. 4)».

59  On Quaker women in Feustking’s work see Stefano Villani, Donne quacchere nel XVII secolo, in «Studi storici», vol. 40 (1999), p. 585- 611; p. 609- 611.

60  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 81.

61  Feustking quotes Gal. 1 : 8-9.

62  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 97-99: «Aus diesen und vorhin erzehlten Stücken erhellet nunmehro zur Gnüge; 1) daß von keiner neuen Pfingst-Schule des Heil. Geistes / worinnen Weiber und Mägde zu Lehr-Prophetinnen sollen gesetzet werden / das geringste zu hoffen sey. 2) Daß di Heil. Schrifft so vollkommen sey / daß sie uns zu allen guten Wercken geschickt machen kan / daher wir keiner begeisterten Prophetinnen bedürfen / die uns in Glaubens- und Gewissens-Sachen unterrichten oder als Göttliche Oracula den Verstand der Geheimnisse mittheilen wollen. Daher sich 3) Christus keinem Weibe offenbahren will noch wird / in solchen Sachen / die wider die Schrifft lauffen / oder ihren Sinn verdrehen und übel deuten. 4) Daß Christus keine Lehr-Prophetinnen mehr schicken / oder Weibes-Personen im Gesichte oder durch unmittelbahre Offenbahrungen kundt thun will / wie durch sie die Menschen in Glauben- und Gewissens-Sachen sollen unterrichtet und gestärcket werden. 5) Daß Christus sich heut zu tage nicht außerordentlich einigen von Gottseligen Weibern offenbahren wolle / die H. Schrifft an tuncklen Stellen zu erläutern / und also die Gewissen zum Glauben durch sie zu bewegen und zu gründen. 6) Daß alle Göttliche Wirckungen und Bewegungen des H. Geistes nicht alsobald unmittelbahre und neue Offenbahrungen seyn / item, daß ein und ander Actus der freyen Göttlichen Dispensation und Praediction von zukünfftigen Dingen im menschlichen Leben nicht so fort eine (Prophetiam Dogmaticam) Offenbahrung in Glaubens-Sachen mache. 7) Daß GOTT sein ordentliches Predigt-Ampt unter uns erhalte / auch die Hirten und Lehrer / daß die heiligen zugerichtet werden zum Werck des Ampts / mit denen darzu nöthigen donis sanctificantibus und administrantibus ausrüste / ohne alles Zuthun der heurigen Lehr-Prophetinnen».

63  Feustking, Gynaeceum, p. 101.

64  On emic and etic perspectives see Kenneth L. Pike, Emic and Etic Standpoints for the Description of Behavior Language in Relation to Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior, [1954], The Hague, Mouton, 1966; Marvin Harris, The Nature of Cultural Things, New York, Random House, 1964; Thomas Headland, Kenneth Pike, and Marvin Harris (eds.), Emics and Etics: The Insider/Outsider Debate, Newbury Park, Sage, 1990.

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Adelisa Malena, « Sectirische und begeisterte Weibes-Personen. On the Gynaeceum Haeretico Fanaticum by J. H. Feustking (1704) », L’Atelier du Centre de recherches historiques [En ligne], 04 | 2009, mis en ligne le 25 septembre 2009, consulté le 23 avril 2017. URL : http://acrh.revues.org/1402 ; DOI : 10.4000/acrh.1402

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Adelisa Malena

Adelisa Malena enseigne actuellement à l'université de Venise (Histoire moderne) et à l'université de Padoue (Histoire des femmes). Elle a travaillé surtout sur l’Inquisition romaine, la direction spirituelle catholique et la mystique au xviie siécle, et est l’auteur de: L’eresia dei perfetti. Inquisizione romana ed esperienze mistiche nel Seicento italiano, Roma, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2003. Elle a traduit de l'allemand : Martin Lutero, Degli ebrei e delle loro menzogne, Torino, Einaudi, 2000 (2e ed. 2009). Parmi ses dernières publications: Rosacroce, libertini e alchimisti nella società veneta del secondo Seicento: i Cavalieri dell’Aurea e Rosa Croce, en collaboration avec Federico Barbierato, in G. M. Cazzaniga (éd.) Storia d’Italia. Annali, vol. XXIV, Esoterismo, Torino, Einaudi [a paraître]; Fra conversione, penitenza e confessione: la vita di Alvisa Zambelli, ebrea convertita (1734), in: A. Bellavitis (éd.) Donne a Venezia in età moderna, [http://www.storiadivenezia.it/donneavenezia/pdf/Malena_conversione.pdf]; Imparzialità confessionale e conversione come “rigenerazione” nel pietismo radicale. La Historie der Wiedergebohrnen di J. H. Reitz, (1698-1753), in: M.C. Pitassi, D. Solfaroli Camillocci (éd), Les modes de la conversion confessionelle à l’epoque moderne. Autobiographie, altérité et construction des identités religieuses (xvie – xviiie siècles) [à paraître en 2010 chez l'éditeur Leo Olschki].

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