Tag Archive for Religious Thinkers

Aemilia Lanyer

By John Hudson Aemilia Lanyer (Also known as Amelia Bassano Lanier) [1] is a controversial figure. The traditional approach to constructing  her biography typically takes literary history and gender theory as its disciplinary boundaries. Within these contexts, the basic facts of her biography, which are a matter of record are included. The more speculative aspects are ignored: Aemilia’s Jewish…

Jeanne d’Albret

  By Elizabeth Pearce Jeanne d’Albret (1528-72) Jeanne d’Albret, later Queen Jeanne of Navarre, was born on November 16, 1528, at St Germain-en-Laye, in France.[1] She was the daughter of Henri d’Albret, King of Navarre, and of Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre, and niece to King Francis I of France. Little is known about…

Juliana of Norwich

By Eliana Greenberg and Koren Whipp Juliana of Norwich c. 1343-c. 1416 The exact dates of the life of Juliana, or Julian, are unknown.[1]  Little is known of her lineage or family history.  She spent most of her life as an anchoret in Norwich, a city in East Anglia, in the modern county of Norfolk. …

Antoinette Bourignon

by Veronica Cassidy Antoinette Bourignon (1616-1680) was born January 13th, 1616, to a Flemish family in Lille, France. At a time when established religions did not allow women leaders, Bourignon became one of a number of prominent female theologists – among them, Anna Maria van Schurman, with whom Bourignon exchanged letters. Bourignon claimed variously to…

Ninon de l’Enclos

by Koren Whipp Ninon de l’Enclos 1620-1705 was a French courtesan and author.  She was born in Paris on 9 January 1623.[1] When l’Enclos was fourteen her father, Henri de Lenclos, deserted the family home due to legal problems.  Her mother, Marie Barbe Abra de Raconis, prostituted the young Ninon to help support them.[2] As a…

Sarra Copia Sullam

By Ruth Palmer Sarra Copia Sullam was born to a prominent Italian Jewish family in Venice around 1592. Her parents were Simon and Ricca Copia, and her sisters were Rachel (Diana) and Esther (Ster). Sarra was educated in the basics of Jewish and Italian culture, and was most likely learned in several languages, including Hebrew, Latin,…

Rabi’ah Al-Adadawiyyah

By Juliet Gentile Rabi’ah Al-Adadawiyyah (Rābiʻa al-ʻAdawiyya al-Qaysiyya or Rābiʿah al-Baṣrī) (d. 801) was as early Islamic saint, hailing from Basra, in today’s Iraq, an area known for its mystic women. She has been called “first among Sufis,” a “second spotless Mary,” and the “Crown of Men.”[1] Her life is seen as the apotheosis of…

Anna Maria van Schurman

by Koren Whipp Anna Maria van Schurman (1607–1678) Born in Cologne, Germany to father, Frederik van Schurman and mother, Eva von Harf, van Shurman lived most of her life in Utrecht, Holland, where she became renowned for her knowledge of theology, philosophy, medicine, and, at least 14 languages (Dutch, German, French, English, Italian, Latin, Greek,…

Anne Askew

by Penelope Whitworth Anne Askew, [married name Kyme] (c. 1521–46), the second daughter of Sir William Askew (1489–1541) and his first wife, Elizabeth Wrottesley who was probably of the Reading Wrottesleys, though some sources say Wrottesley, Staffordshire.[1]  Anne Askew is thought to have received a good education, possibly from tutors at home. She was married to…

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