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Hot over a Collar: Religious Authority and Sartorial Politics in the Early National Ohio Valley

Hot over a Collar: Religious Authority and Sartorial Politics in the Early National Ohio Valley <p>abstract:</p><p>In 1829 Mother Catherine Spalding of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky, allowed her community of Catholic women religious to wear a white collar as a part of their habit. The decision provoked a brief but passionate dispute between Spalding and her local bishop, Benedict Joseph Flaget of nearby Bardstown, Kentucky. Bishop Flaget feared the seemingly anodyne garment revealed Spalding&apos;s vanity and unruliness. Spalding insisted on her obedience to proper religious authority, but she nonetheless defended her conduct and the collar&apos;s merits. Her spirited defense of the collar shows that a skillful mother superior could marshal the gendered language of authority and propriety to her order&apos;s advantage. Moreover, the contest between Spalding and Flaget demonstrates that as Catholics sought to define their presence in the early United States, influential women religious like Spalding emerged as the "public face" of nineteenth-century American Catholicism.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal University of Pennsylvania Press

Hot over a Collar: Religious Authority and Sartorial Politics in the Early National Ohio Valley

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © The McNeil Center for Early American Studies.
ISSN
1559-0895

Abstract

<p>abstract:</p><p>In 1829 Mother Catherine Spalding of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky, allowed her community of Catholic women religious to wear a white collar as a part of their habit. The decision provoked a brief but passionate dispute between Spalding and her local bishop, Benedict Joseph Flaget of nearby Bardstown, Kentucky. Bishop Flaget feared the seemingly anodyne garment revealed Spalding&apos;s vanity and unruliness. Spalding insisted on her obedience to proper religious authority, but she nonetheless defended her conduct and the collar&apos;s merits. Her spirited defense of the collar shows that a skillful mother superior could marshal the gendered language of authority and propriety to her order&apos;s advantage. Moreover, the contest between Spalding and Flaget demonstrates that as Catholics sought to define their presence in the early United States, influential women religious like Spalding emerged as the "public face" of nineteenth-century American Catholicism.</p>

Journal

Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary JournalUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Oct 10, 2019

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