By Mary F. Foskett
The virginity of Mary has been an influential guideline of Christian trust, a catalyst for Marian devotion, and a beginning for the development of lady Christian piety and perform. unlike earlier biblical interpreters who've drawn on both linguistic or historic proof to wonder if Mary the parthenos is certainly a "virgin," during this examine Mary F. Foskett takes a various direction. instead of investigating the that means and implications of the Virgin as a reified image, A Virgin Conceived examines the portrayal of Mary as a virgin in vital early Christian narratives: the canonical Luke-Acts and the second-century Protevangelium of James. Foskett explores the a number of meanings and pictures that parthenos and virginity exhibit in assets and describes how they take advantage of this diversity of attainable meanings of their representations of Mary. Her examine departs from prior biblical interpretation by way of emphasizing neither the anomaly of the time period parthenos nor the background of culture bearing on Mary. as a substitute, it monitors the a number of meanings of "virginity" and their implications for figuring out representations of the Virgin Mary.
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Extra resources for A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of Virginity
10 Sissa argues that if taking a bride’s parthenia connotes more than just stealing her youth, then parthenos likewise implies more than merely age or marital status. She observes that classical Greek literature assumes the sexual, if hidden, status of a parthenos, but nevertheless contains numerous accounts of parthenoi being tested for their parthenia. 11 Clearly age and marital status alone fail to ensure sexual status. Bodies and Selves 27 Sissa’s study demonstrates that parthenia becomes most signi¤cant when it is lost.
Nonvirgins form the mirror image of these groups of virgins. Thus girls divorced after presumed consummation count as nonvirgins even if they somehow remain intact (M. Ket. 109 Cultural convention establishes and perpetuates the assignment of sexual status. ”110 Exceptions to the rule are rare. Wegner cites the example of M. Ket. 3, in which the details of how a female’s virginity is “lost” ¤gure signi¤cantly. In the case of a female who has been “injured by a piece of wood,” the majority view diminishes the bride-price, but R.
95 Moreover, adultery became punishable by exile, death, or con¤scation of property. , both legislations re®ect a high Roman regard for marriage. Whether such laws were strictly enforced is dif¤cult to determine. However, as has been noted, All women’s lives were affected profoundly in various ways by the social ideology being articulated in laws and dynastic imagery by the emperor. 97 As we have already seen, much of Soranus’s discussion of parthenia revolves around the medical risks posed by the Roman practice of early marriage.
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