Download A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of by Mary F. Foskett PDF

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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 girl Christian piety and perform. unlike earlier biblical interpreters who've drawn on both linguistic or ancient facts to wonder whether Mary the parthenos is certainly a "virgin," during this examine Mary F. Foskett takes a assorted 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 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 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 paradox of the time period parthenos nor the historical past of culture pertaining to Mary. as an alternative, it screens the a number of meanings of "virginity" and their implications for knowing representations of the Virgin Mary.

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Extra info for A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of Virginity

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The question is compounded by the common occurrence of gyne (woman, wife) and aner (man, husband), both of which refer to gender and marital status. 8 There is less agreement on the precise distinction between kore (girl) and parthenos. Without at all denying the possibility of semantic overlap between the two terms, I have chosen to focus on the meaning and signi¤cance of parthenos, the term that occurs in Luke-Acts and PJ. Since images of virginity are sometimes shared by different linguistic cultures, occasional references to the Latin virgo and the Hebrew betulah appear when necessary.

103 This is not to say that sexuality and virginity prove wholly unproblematic in rabbinic discourse. Rather, sex remains necessarily subject to regulation and control. As has been noted, concern for sexual discipline characterizes much ancient discourse on the body and sexuality. Peter Brown summarizes the rabbinic view, “As the rabbis chose to present it, sexuality was an enduring adjunct of the personality. ”104 Lest one mistake such concern as a rabbinic innovation, Eilberg-Schwartz offers the reminder that “the body has always been a central preoccupation within Judaism.

Mapping the Cultural Connotations of Parthenia and Parthenos Despite the range of sources, discussions concerning the ¤gure of the parthenos and the topic of parthenia tend to coalesce around particular issues and connotations. The following review of these discussions aims to represent various modes of discourse and what they connote when they refer to parthenia and parthenos. In her study of the book of Judges, Mieke Bal underscores A Virgin Conceived 28 the liminality inherent in the social and sexual status of the Hebrew betulah.

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