The Effects Of Catholicism On The Education Of Women In Renaissance Italy

4141 words - 17 pages

The Effects of Catholicism on the Education of Women in Renaissance Italy

According to Paul Grendler, the conservative, clerical pedagogical theorist Silvio Antoniano (1540-1603) reflected on women’s educational status in Renaissance Italy in one of his written works, claiming that “…a girl (should not) learn ‘pleading and writing poetry’; the vain sex must not reach too high…A girl should attend to sewing, cooking, and other female activities, leaving to men what was theirs”. Apparently, this was the common-held view concerning women’s education during that time. Although women were actually encouraged to literacy, their subservient social role as wives and mothers could not allow them to learn as much as men did (Grendler, 1989).
     Women could not have possibly been employed or held a public office. Any attainable employment did not involve independent thought; matters concerning the ruling and well-being of society were left to men (Grendler, 1995). Therefore, they were encouraged to receive the kind of education that would prove useful for their primarily domestic role. It was not enough, therefore, for them to learn how to read and write; they had to hammer their knowledge into a matrix of virtue and piety. The development and praise of literacy, the advances in printing and consequently the widespread introduction of books to the public and finally the Counter-Reformation, were factors that influenced the development of female education (Grendler, 1989). What I would like to argue in my paper is that Catholicism acted as a medium for the development of the literacy of women in Renaissance Italy.
     Within the Catholic church arose the need to draw people back to conservative Catholic traditions. This was, on a certain level, a response to the Protestant Reformation and to less conservative Humanist ideals that were spreading throughout Italy. After the Council of Trent, a lot of emphasis was placed on the development of Christian virtues within individuals. What better way to achieve this than indoctrination? The knowledge of religious texts and rituals as well as the adoption of monastic virtues began to be seen as imperative. Women were granted educational privileges, primarily so that they could read religious texts. Convent education for young girls became popular amidst upper and middle class families (Strocchia, 1999). The Schools of the Christian Doctrine also served as a means towards acquiring literacy. Most importantly though, these catechical schools granted educational privileges to lower-class children, who were generally excluded from the kind of education that more well off people had access to (Grendler, 1995).
     Thus, we see that in a sense, Catholicism acted as a catalyst in the development of female education. Paradoxically enough though, at the same time, it limited the possible level of knowledge they could attain. The thought of the supposedly foolish, sinful female sex breaking the bonds of ignorance...

Find Another Essay On The Effects of Catholicism on the Education of Women in Renaissance Italy

Political Effects of the Renaissance Essay

560 words - 2 pages Sir Francis Bacon's concept of human dominance over nature's elements, which initiated the development of modern scienceand technology. Medieval notions of republicanism and liberty, preserved and defended with classical precedents by Renaissance thinkers, had an indelible impact on the course of English constitutional theory and may have been a source for the conception of government espoused by the Founding Fathers of American constitutionalism. Above all, however, "the age of the Renaissance marked a decisive stage in the transition from Middle Ages to the modern world"(Ferguson 1).

The Transformation of Roman Catholicism Essay

3762 words - 15 pages councils of Trent, Vatican I and II was believed to have been needed in order to look ay the way in which the Christian tradition encapsulates the truth of the religion. Both the Vatican councils attempted to transform Roman Catholicism. Before I can first look at Kungs objections to the concept of an infallible church, I believe I need to establish what the Roman Catholic church meant by the concept of 'infallible' and

Women in the Renaissance

1922 words - 8 pages began to feel the pressure to conform to the gender roles that were inflicted upon her. However, her husband died after only one year of marriage and she was now free to dedicate herself to education. Cereta wrote eighty-two letters in her lifetime on her life as a woman in the Renaissance. She emphasizes her gender in these letters, but views herself as different from other men and other women. She believes that she an exception to her gender

The effects of the first world war on Italy and the growth of Fascism

524 words - 2 pages The national elections of November 1919 were the most significant in Italy since the political and territorial reunification of 1870. These were the first elections to take place under mass political democracy. All men were given the vote and the electoral law of August 1919 meant that a system of proportional representation was in place.The idea of mass democracy was very different to what had been in place since unification in 1870 to 1912

The Effects of Inclusion on Mainstream Education

1538 words - 6 pages , would have on their education and safety. At Ridge, Sean had the benefit of being educated by teachers who had chosen to teach mentally challenged children and had been specially trained to do so. The textbooks were specially written to coincide with a curriculum specifically designed and proven to teach developmentally challenged children. Not being the only child with a learning disability in the classroom provided an environment with less

The Effects of Music Education on Students

1832 words - 7 pages -benefits-of-music-education/>. The information found on this page has ways that music education effects children in multiple ways. It talks about the many advantages children with a music education have over toerh College Board, comp. 2011 College-Bound Seniors. College Board, 2011. PDF file. College Board is a website that many students use to sign up for SAT’s and ACT’s. Its information is based upon the information students give to question they

The Effects of Violence on Women

2490 words - 10 pages The Effects of Violence on Women Violence affects the lives of millions of women worldwide, in developing, as well as in developed countries. It cuts across cultural and religious barriers, restricting women from fully participating in society. Violence against women has many forms in which it comes in, from domestic abuse and rape to child marriages and female

The Effects of Abortion on Women.

763 words - 3 pages that her act of abortion was the correct one and she made the right choice but at the same time she feels inside that she might have done the greatest mistake of her life. In fact such women keep on regretting their action and fail to reach a true state of satisfaction with regard to their traumatic experience.The aborted women experience the reactions like guilty feeling, anxiety, helplessness, shameful feeling, grief, remorse; urge to cry without

Diverse Roles of Women in the Renaissance Era

1171 words - 5 pages expected to be housewives and be there for their husbands. Unlike “housewife,” workingwoman’s during the renaissance could only work for there husbands, and still had to be a housewife at home. On the other hand, upper class women had people working for them, but still had to manage the house and be housewives. A prime example of inequity and the gender difference is seen in one of the most famous plays writes plays, William Shakespeare. William

The Portraiture of Women During the Renaissance

1824 words - 7 pages psychologically responses with the audience. This example displays how Leonardo was instrumental in the social progressive change of how women were viewed and they were no longer seen as the passive beloved wives but more as the active agent and independent thinkers. This new interpretation of the portraiture was quite new in the Renaissance Italy but was known in the Northern Europe. Leonardo is remarkable for his stylistic style used in the

The Influences of Religion on Italy

1547 words - 6 pages Greek influences have blended with popular Spanish beliefs and been incorporated into Catholicism. They have beliefs in the evil eye, charms, spells, messages through dreams, and various other types of omens. They believed in witches with powers and anti-witches. Many of the beliefs have died out with the knowledge of the modern age. The people of the capital of Italy, Rome, do not believe in one single all-powerful god. Instead, they believe in

Similar Essays

The Impact Of Education On The Renaissance

702 words - 3 pages The gigantic effect that education had on Renaissance society was greatly stimulated by the new development of humanism. Humanism was responsible for the curiosity of many intellects during the Renaissance, which ultimately led to the discoveries and developments that made the Renaissance such a remarkable time. It proposed a different way of thinking, unprecedented by scholars. Without humanism and the educational interest that it brought about

The Role Of Women In The Renaissance

1718 words - 7 pages Elizabeth I: the sovereign example of the femme seule. Other women, such as the Roman noblewoman studied by Marilyn Dunn, chose to focus on women in a different fashion: by building female convents" (King 613). It was a time when women of the courts were able to learn to read and write and to express, to a minimal degree, their opinions. The role of women was experiencing its own Renaissance, though not of the same magnitude or direction as that

Catholicism In The Life Of Shakespeare

1491 words - 6 pages In Shakespeare’s time, 1564-1616, practicing Catholicism was illegal in England. Some historians have claimed that William Shakespeare was Catholic and hid this fact out of fear of persecution. Others go as far as to say that Shakespeare shaped parts of his plays after his own Catholic beliefs. Between Shakespeare’s youth upbringing, education, and the availability of Catholic literature, William Shakespeare had a basis if not a belief in the

Industry And The Effects Of Climate In Italy.

4640 words - 19 pages with the Sardinian-Corsican massif, and, further south, the other great island fold of the Calabrian-Peloritan massif. During the course of the succeeding Mesozoic era, lasting for over 160 million years, almost all the present area of Italy remained covered by a large marine basin on whose bottom (which varied considerably in depth) was deposited on different occasions material of various types. This was to produce, following a process of