Women and Self-Sacrifice in the Christian Church: A Cultural History from the First to the Nineteenth Century

Overview

"By speaking and teaching to women, Jesus Christ scandalously violated the religious codes of his time and people. Later, by emphasizing virginity and martyrdom, Christianity gave women their first viable option to marriage. In their relationship with God, women like Hildegard of Bingen, and Joan of Arc also found an opportunity for significant creative activity. Even so, church leaders succeeded in keeping women in the role of victim, a role to which Christianity added religious significance. Is it possible to develop a truly feminist theology ...
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Overview

"By speaking and teaching to women, Jesus Christ scandalously violated the religious codes of his time and people. Later, by emphasizing virginity and martyrdom, Christianity gave women their first viable option to marriage. In their relationship with God, women like Hildegard of Bingen, and Joan of Arc also found an opportunity for significant creative activity. Even so, church leaders succeeded in keeping women in the role of victim, a role to which Christianity added religious significance. Is it possible to develop a truly feminist theology in a religion that depends upon the symbolism of sacrifice?" This translation of the Italian work Storia laica delle donne religiose examines such topics as sexuality, virginity, martyrdom, mysticism, and women's involvement in education and aid societies. The author then considers whether the role of sacrificial victim is necessary to society, and the possible implications if the role is universally rejected.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786493609
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/27/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 1
I Christianity: A Religion for Women
1 The Trauma Inflicted by Jesus: Women Exist 7
2 Women as Christ's "Males" 36
3 A Grand Invention: Let Us Go Outside the World 67
4 The Religious System of Fashion 89
II The Tragic Game of Mysticism
5 Mysticism and Culture 105
6 A Custom-Made Lover: God 120
7 In Love Until Death 162
8 If This Is a Woman 184
9 Self-Annihilation in Order to Exist 201
III Religious Women Out to Conquer the World
10 Acting So As to Exist 225
11 Religious Women Invent the "Welfare State" 237
12 New Martyrs 257
Notes 271
Bibliography 277
Index 285
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