Publication details

Marie - žena, matka, manželka, panna?

Title in English Mary - Woman, Wife, Mother, Virgin?


Year of publication 2006
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Náboženství a tělo
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords religion and body;sexuality; social constraction of body; purity; cultural identity
Description Using gender perspective the article reconsiders women membership in early Christian communities, their number and especially position which used to be rather different in the very beginning of Christian history comparing the women status and authority at the end of Hellenistic period. It provides the survey of literary sources with the information of various types of Mary as well as other women in the oldest Christian communities. The motivation of women to convert to Christianity is focused upon two main levels – ascesy/ purity and the process of social formation of early Christian communities. Both the levels are reconsidered also with regerd to the problem of gradual exclosure of women from the leadership or ritual or public activities. The aspects of female bodies, including problem of ritual purity were only partly used during the process of structuring and hierarchisation of Christian communities. In fact there was no common strategy in the approach to women, even the canonical texts are unambiguous. The temporary limited higher social/religious status of women was conditioned by special factors during the period of the formation of early Christian communities and till the fourth century the virgin ideal presented by Mary substituted the older variability of women roles. The older practice than was presented as a heterodox phenomenon and women were pushed to respect the official church position which than was asserted with the support of elaborated arguments derived from the genuine qualities of women body.