This essay focuses on a strange medieval phenomenon, the so-called gift of tears—religious weeping that brings beatitude. This internal purifying process, which was embedded in the specific conditions of historical Christianity, was described and understood as a procedure in which God himself acts and, therefore, as a process that human-kind cannot learn, formalize, or ritualize. However, the author analyzes religious weeping as a peculiar, `intimate ritual' in which the formalized process took place in the soul or spirituality of the weeping person. This essay aims to describe and analyze this practice while examining the historical conditions that enabled such a cultural elaboration to develop.
The Making of Class- and Gender-Based Solidarities
Susan Zimmermann and Piroska Nagy
Source translated and discussed: Letter, sent by Mrs. István Bordás and Mrs. Gábor Magyar to Róza (Rosika) Schwimmer, dated 1 June 1908, National Archives of Hungary— National Archives (Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár Országos Levéltára, MNLOL), Fond P 999, Feminist Association, 1904–1959, batch 5, no. 40, handwritten.
André Droogers, Sidney M. Greenfield, Don Handelman, Michael Houseman, Robert E. Innis, André Iteanu, Bruce Kapferer, Galina Lindquist, Piroska Nagy and Don Seeman
Notes on Contributors