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Journal > Volumes > 46 (2015) / 4 (Winter)
“The Sisters of Rachel”: Interpreting Dying in Childbed in Early Modern Denmark-Norway
Eivor Andersen Oftestad
MF Norwegian School of Theology

The author investigates textual sources from early modern Denmark-Norway concerning women dying in childbed. Funeral works in particular, but also church ordinances and instructions to midwives and expecting women, exhibit a set of models for explaining this type of death. Framed by these models, the dead female body expressed central Protestant perceptions of mankind and salvation. The explanations of these deaths depended on the text genre and context in which they were given. The message accordingly changed from comfort or consolation to mediating the ideal image of women. This article contributes to the understanding of how evangelical theology was implemented in the conjoined kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, and how the new theology provided interpretations of the life and death of early modern women.

Pages: 957 - 981