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A Cheerful and Comfortable FaithAnglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of Eighteenth-Century Virginia$
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Lauren Winner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780300124699

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300124699.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Becoming a “Christian Woman”

Becoming a “Christian Woman”

Needlework and Girls' Religious Formation

(p.60) Chapter Two Becoming a “Christian Woman”
A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith

Lauren F. Winner

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on religious and girls' education, both charged issues in eighteenth-century Virginia. Religious education was a topic of some concern because explicit in infant baptism was the promise that the child would be taught about the faith into which they had been inaugurated. Mastery of this doctrine was linked to reception of communion. In interpreting Anglican girls' religious embroidery, the literary scholars Ann Rosalind Jones and Peter Stallybrass's reading of Renaissance needlework is helpful. The production of religious needlework in eighteenth-century Virginia was synthetically social and religious: in embroidery, ordinary household work, femininity, and Christian practice were literally intertwined. Sewing decorative needlework was one way girls learned how to be Christians; in particular, how to be Christian women in a hierarchical slave society, a society in which white girls' virtue stood for all social order, and in which elite girls both owed and were owed obedience.

Keywords:   religious education, girls' education, Virginia, infant baptism, Anglican, girls' religious embroidery, embroidery

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