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Veiled DesiresIntimate Portrayals of Nuns in Postwar Anglo-American Film$
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Maureen Sabine

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251650

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251650.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 20 October 2021

Conclusion: Suspect Desires

Conclusion: Suspect Desires

The End of a Religious Illusion in Doubt (2008)?

(p.275) Conclusion: Suspect Desires
Veiled Desires

Maureen Sabine

Fordham University Press

The book closes with a study of Doubt and views this film as a somber retelling of The Bells of St. Mary's in its representation of a gender power struggle between a nun and priest, played out in a Bronx parish church and parochial school setting that is no longer a safe space for children. It proposes that the film dramatizes the patriarchal bargain compensating women superiors for their female subordination to the clerical hierarchy by giving them power over the young and the weak. It discusses how Doubt subtly broaches the topical subjects of homosexuality and pedophilia in the priesthood; outlines the homosocial organization of the institutional Church; and warns that both nuns and priests in positions of trust can abuse their religious authority. In final remarks, it notes the ways in which the Oscar dominated documentary God Is the Bigger Elvis, profiling the life of starlet Dolores Hart who left Hollywood to join a Benedictine cloister, has entertaining and arresting points of comparison with the nun films in this study.

Keywords:   Doubt, The Bells of St. Mary's, Church gender politics, Patriarchal bargain, Clerical hierarchy, Homosocial culture, Homosexuality, Pedophile priests, God Is the Bigger Elvis, Dolores Hart

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