Anabaptists: Everyone hated them I guess

So far, I’ve been researching the Anabaptists and their opinions on women. And, so far, I’ve seen that women were well-respected in their circles (quite literally, during worship) and I’ve concluded that despite the immense drawbacks from joining a persecuted religion, they would have been drawn to Anabaptism. A huge part of this allure was the music of the Anabaptists and their attitudes toward music.

Really, a lot of information on this subject exists, but I don’t have access to all the things I would like to read through. I feel the need to keep reading more and more in order to completely understand the issue backwards and forwards.

But, this comes with a huge drawback: I am not particularly good at explaining things. After I’ve read from fifteen sources on the Anabaptist’s opinions of women worshiping versus the Lutheran’s opinions, I don’t remember which source had which information, which information is not common knowledge, and what I need to outline more specifically in my paper. So, I need to find a better way of documenting every piece of information from every source in order to really keep straight all of the research I’m doing.

That being said, I don’t feel like I’m deep enough into my topic. Yes, it is quite broad, but I hope to expand on it more in an expansion of my original 5 page paper. So far, my research has rendered wonderful results – but they’re almost too perfect. My argument feels very sound, but I don’t feel like my counterarguments are solid enough.

I was given the advice to make the case that Anabaptism was more women – friendly than other religions. While this isn’t really my main point (that being that the music ideology of the Anabaptists would have drawn women in), it is a good way to further solidify my argument. An abundance of information exists comparing the religion with others at the time. However, I wonder if I could add another layer of counterargument to it.

Would the musical ideologies have balanced out the intense persecution they would have faced? I’m not so sure. Quite literally everyone hated the Anabaptists – they were alienated from the start by Luther and by the Catholics, and their opinions on baptism were too extreme for the times. Perhaps the sheer number of women who converted can speak for itself and justify that yes, the benefits outweighed the cost.

I also feel like there could be research out there negating the role of women in Anabaptist churches, and I’d like to look into that. I also would like to talk to at least one member of the Religion faculty here to see if they know anything about it as well. Overall, I think I’d like to take my paper to the next level and make it more believable through in-depth counterarguments.

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