Women of the Protestant Reformation

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Joshua J. Mark
published on 19 February 2024

The contributions of women to the Protestant Reformation (1517-1648) were frequently marginalized in the past but have gained wider recognition in the present era. Many women played important roles in spreading the new vision of Christianity either through their own efforts or in support for their husbands or other reformers.

The following collection presents only a few of the many women who contributed to the cause of advancing the Reformation as well as a famous example of Catholic Counter-Reformation literature, Jeanne de Jussie’s Short Chronicle of 1535, and Catherine de' Medici who opposed the movement.


Questions & Answers

How did women contribute to the Protestant Reformation?

Women contributed to the Reformation through their own efforts, including preaching and writing, or by supporting their husbands, other reformers, or the community.

Who are some of the most famous women of the Protestant Reformation?

There are many famous women of the Protestant Reformation but among the best-known are Katharina von Bora, Argula von Grumbach, Marie Dentierre, and Katharina Zell.

Why is Jeanne de Jussie's Short Chronicle important?

Jeanne de Jussie's Short Chronicle is important as a document challenging the Protestant claim that Catholic women were held in convents and monasteries against their will.

Why were the contributions of early Protestant women marginalized?

Protestant women's contributions became marginalized as more men began to cite the biblical injunction of I Timothy 2:12 against women teaching or having authority over men.
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About the Author

Joshua J. Mark
Joshua J. Mark is World History Encyclopedia's co-founder and Content Director. He was previously a professor at Marist College (NY) where he taught history, philosophy, literature, and writing. He has traveled extensively and lived in Greece and Germany.

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