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Lecture 2

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University of Toronto St. George
Dr.Carla Hustak

Lecture 2September 20 2011The Stakes of Religious Authority in Medieval Womens Lives Biblical Narratives Eve and the Fallwomen were associated with sin temptation origin of evil the fall of mankindmore sexually uncontrollable and less capable of reasonwomen represented in relation to Eve in this kind of evil connectionwasnt possible for women to ignore this at this particular time because religion was such apervasive part in womens lives Leading a Religious LifeClaims to Spiritual Authority as Gender Struggle within Patriarchal Christianitydidnt necessarily mean that women didnt engage in religionthey challenged the ideas interpreted through Eve What womens religious lives meant for challenging ideas and what leading a religious life meant to shaping womens social political and economic circumstancesProblem for us to Investigate In light of dominant patriarchal constructions of women as inherently sinful how did medieval women create a space to claim moral virtue assume spiritual authority and assert power in religiousinstitutions 1 Truth Claims Religion and Science 2 Querelles Des Femmes GenderMoralsAn intellectual debateThe women question developed begins in this period takes on different forms laterPopular culture movement 3 Roles in Religious InstitutionsPartnerships with Male EcclesiasticsWasnt the case that all women were on one side and all men on otherA lot of partnerships a lot of males that did defend womenI Origin Stories of Womans Birth Plato and Aristotle women as failed men Eve associated with flesh matter nature earth Tertullian the Devils Gateway Debates over Eves creation eg Agrippa Eve Model versus Virgin Mary Modeldebates over Eves creation Eve often seen as being formed from Adams rib or from clay orboneBone made Eve seem better than Adam because bone was betterHad Eve been made from Adams head then they wouldve been seen as equal but because ofbeing made from the Rib she was seen as inferior Virgin Mary cults Bernard of Clairvauxvery difficult kind of ideal to live up toshe was a virgin AND a mother which made things tricky Mary depicted as equal to Christ early Middle Ages c 5001100 ADReligious ideas in Social Context How did religious ideas translate into regulating womens practical experiences of marriage sex and childbearing St Paul
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