Monday, July 14, 2014

The women who helped shape Christianity

From The Telegraph-

As the Church of England votes on whether to allow female bishops here are 11 female role models—from the Virgin Mary to a female Pope—in Church history

1 and 2: The Holy Marys

Christianity is very fond of its role models, and in the Virgin Mary, Jesus’ mother, and Mary Magdalene, the repentant sinner, it offers two from either end of the spectrum. The first is blameless, pure, accepting, never complaining (save in Colm Toibin’s recent Booker short-listed novel, The Testament of Mary) and, throughout the gospel, happy to leave the chaps to get on with it. The second is said to be a fallen woman (though the gospels are vague on this, describing her as having been possessed by seven demons) and has come, in Christian imagery, to represent both the wickedness of sexual desire and how that can ache be conquered by faith. And it is she, not the men, who in John’s gospel first sees the risen Lord, making her arguably the first Christian.


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