Across the Religious Divide
Women, Property, and Law in the Wider Mediterranean (ca. 1300-1800)
Edited by Jutta Sperling, Shona Kelly Wray
Routledge – 2010 – 318 pages
Examining women's property rights in different societies across the entire medieval and early modern Mediterranean, this volume introduces a unique comparative perspective to the complexities of gender relations in Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Through individual case studies based on urban and rural, elite and non-elite, religious and secular communities, Across the Religious Divide presents the only nuanced history of the region that incorporates peripheral areas such as Portugal, the Aegean Islands, Dalmatia, and Albania into the central narrative.
By bridging the present-day notional and cultural divide between Muslim and Judeo-Christian worlds with geographical and thematic coherence, this collection of essays by top international scholars focuses on women in courts of law and sources such as notarial records, testaments, legal commentaries, and administrative records to offer the most advanced research and illuminate real connections across boundaries of gender, religion, and culture.
1. 'Pro mea hereditate materna,' Perpignan c.1250-1350: Can the Historian Distinguish between Inheritance through and by Women? (Rebecca Winer) 2. Medieval Coptic Canon Law and its Articulation of Gender Relations and Sexuality (Maryann Shenoda) 3. The Boundaries of Affection: Women and property in Late Medieval Avignon (Joelle Rollo-Koster) 4. Women in Venetian Courts (14th Century) (Linda Guzzetti) 5. Testamentary Bequests of Croatian Noble Women (14th Century) (Branka Grbavac) 6. Dowry and Inheritance in Late Medieval Bologna and its Contado (Shona Kelly Wray) 7. 'In the Shadow of the Campo:' Sienese Women and Family Life (Elena Brizio) 8. Resistances, Negotiations, and Self-Government: Forms of Women's Agency in a Male-Oriented Inheritance System in Late Medieval Portugal (Maria de Lurdes Rosa) 9. Propertied Women in Dowry Systems: Florence and Venice Compared (14th-16th centuries) (Isabelle Chabot) 10. Jewish Women in Early Modern Modena: Individual, Household and Collective Properties (Federica Francesconi) 11. Women and Property in Early Modern Spain: Diversity in Dotal and Inheritance Systems (Maria Margerita and Birriel Salcedo) 12. Mothers-in-law in early modern Portugal (Jutta Sperling) 13. Gender, Kinship and Property in Mamluk Society (Yossef Rapoport) 14. Women, Family, and Property in Sixteenth-Century Venice (Anna Bellavitis 15. Women as Outsiders: the Inheritance of Agricultural Land in the Ottoman Empire (Colin Imber) 16. ‘Clandestine marriage’ or Bride-price: Customary Law as Narrated by Franciscan Missionaries (Aleksandra Djajic and Albanian Horváth) 17. Christian and Muslim Women's Choice of Courts in the Ottoman Empire (16th century) (Evgenia Kermeli) 18. Counting on Kin: Women and Property in Eighteenth-Century Cairo (Mary Ann Fay) 19. Women of Modest Means: Property and Estates of Ottoman Women in Eighteenth-Century Istanbul (Fariba Zarinebaf) 20. Kin and Marriage in two Aegean Islands at the End of the Eighteenth Century (Evdoxios Doxiadis)
Jutta Sperling, Hampshire College. Her main publications include Convents and the Body Politic in Late Renaissance Venice 1550-1650 (1999) as well as articles on the abolition of clandestine marriages at the Council of Trent and on Portuguese women's property rights. Her current research interests focus on iconographies of lactation in Renaissance and Baroque art.
Shona Kelly Wray, University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her research incorporates various aspects of the social history of fourteenth-century Bologna. She has published articles on women, family, and inheritance, notarial culture, the social experience of the Black Death, and peace and dispute settlements. Her first book, Communities and Crisis: Bologna during the Black Death, was published in 2009.