Conventual Life in Colonial Mexico. Stanford University. Expected date of Publication: Early Available in paperback,

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AsunciĆ³n Lavrin

Academic journal article The Historian. She received her master's degree from Radcliffe College and her doctorate from Harvard University. She has written and edited over 70 articles and books, both in English and Spanish, on the church and women in colonial Mexico and on the comparative history of women and feminism in Latin America. Since the s, she has been a contributing editor to the Handbook of Latin American Studies published by the Library of Congress, given over a hundred lectures and presentations at universities and conferences throughout North, Central, and South America as well as in Europe, and served on dozens of editorial, advisory, and professional boards.


Interview with Asuncion Lavrin

Lavrin has published extensively on women in Latin America, especially on women in Mexico. She has contributed significantly to the history of Roman Catholicism in Mexico , beginning with a number of her early articles drew on her dissertation on nuns and nunneries, culminating in her monograph Brides of Christ. Conventual Life in Colonial Mexico Stanford, [3] She also addressed issues of elite secular women in colonial Mexico, including their economic roles as seen in her co-authored work on dowries and wills of women in Mexico City and Guadalajara. Her interest in women's history is wide-ranging, with her monograph on women in Argentina , women in Chile , and women in Uruguay in the modern era culminating in the monograph Women, Feminism and Social Change: Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, Nebraska Press, The publication of this book marks a watershed for Latin American studies: It is difficult to conceive that there will be any more books on politics and political parties in the Southern Cone that ignore women and feminist issues.


Brides of Christ invites the modern reader to follow the histories of colonial Mexican nuns inside the cloisters where they pursued a religious vocation or sought shelter from the world. Lavrin provides a complete overview of conventual life, including the early signs of vocation, the decision to enter a convent, profession, spiritual guidelines and devotional practices, governance, ceremonials, relations with male authorities and confessors, living arrangements, servants, sickness, and death rituals. Individual chapters deal with issues such as sexuality and the challenges to chastity in the cloisters and the little-known subject of the nuns' own writings as expressions of their spirituality. The foundation of convents for indigenous women receives special attention, because such religious communities existed nowhere else in the Spanish empire.



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