By Mary F. Foskett
The virginity of Mary has been an influential guiding principle of Christian trust, a catalyst for Marian devotion, and a beginning for the development of woman Christian piety and perform. not like past biblical interpreters who've drawn on both linguistic or old facts to wonder if Mary the parthenos is certainly a "virgin," during this examine Mary F. Foskett takes a diversified path. instead of investigating the which means and implications of the Virgin as a reified image, A Virgin Conceived examines the portrayal of Mary as a virgin in very important early Christian narratives: the canonical Luke-Acts and the second-century Protevangelium of James. Foskett explores the a number of meanings and photographs that parthenos and virginity demonstrate in assets and describes how they take advantage of this diversity of attainable meanings of their representations of Mary. Her examine departs from previous biblical interpretation via emphasizing neither the anomaly of the time period parthenos nor the heritage of culture pertaining to Mary. in its place, it screens the a number of meanings of "virginity" and their implications for knowing representations of the Virgin Mary.
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Additional info for A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of Virginity
38 Thus the correspondence between stomata permeated both metaphorical and literal references to the female body. 39 The parthenos, however, is often seen as susceptible to risks and diseases directly related to her lack of sexual experience. Gynecological discourse, with its interest in the reproductive health of women, weighs the potential drawbacks and bene¤ts of parthenia. Here Soranus stands out as a proponent of virginal health. ”40 Soranus argues that “one must not suppose the uterus to be essential to life” and that virginity is healthful because it prevents loss of seed.
6), fathers, not daughters, are the parties charged with virginity suits. 13–21, 29 (cf. 9–14). In at least one instance, the Mishnah details the moment that a female passes from the domain of her father to that of her spouse (M. Ket. 5). 114 Wegner cites M. Ket. ”115 Instead, she is carefully ushered from one male jurisdiction to another. In the idealized economics of marriage, the virgin body is monitored, evaluated, and transferred. It is a valuable commodity in a carefully regulated marketplace.
Such focus on the body of the parthenos is evidenced in medical, moral, legal, and religious discourse, among others. In the second place, discussion tends to focus on the ¤gure of the parthenos as an acting subject. The virgin is presented as the potential subject of either integrity or duplicity. As an ethical subject, she must negotiate the line between the two. While some discussions especially emphasize either the body or the agency of the virgin, others assume both images of the parthenos.
A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of Virginity by Mary F. Foskett