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. unlike prior biblical interpreters who've drawn on both linguistic or ancient facts to wonder if Mary the parthenos is certainly a "virgin," during this examine Mary F. Foskett takes a varied 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 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 reveal in resources and describes how they take advantage of this variety of attainable meanings of their representations of Mary. Her learn departs from previous biblical interpretation through emphasizing neither the paradox of the time period parthenos nor the background of culture pertaining to Mary. as a substitute, it monitors the a number of meanings of "virginity" and their implications for realizing representations of the Virgin Mary.
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Additional resources for A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of Virginity
The female body of the medical writers was constructed by and in relation to men. 31 The repeated A Virgin Conceived 32 occurrence of terms used to describe corresponding parts of the upper and lower female body points to the physiological symmetry that physicians attribute to women. For instance, the part of the body that ingests food, is attached to lips that open and close, and is connected to the neck, is called the stoma. Medical writers speak of the uterus, too, as a stoma. It also is connected to a “lower neck” and attached to a set of lips.
In some arguments, purity refers to the nature of the woman’s intention, reputation, and experience. In others, purity clearly refers to her body. Remarking upon one particular argument against the woman, the Elder Seneca observes that it is posed “in reference not to her motivation but to her body” (non ad animum hoc referens sed ad corpus, Controv. 16). The true virgin must be proven worthy in body and intention. Throughout the discussion, the boundaries between virginity, chastity, and purity become increasingly indistinguishable.
Debate over the translation of parthenos is conspicuously absent from modern discussion of PJ because here the meaning of parthenos is decidedly unambiguous. It clearly designates Mary as a virgo intacta. As historical criticism has dominated scholarly discussion of PJ, the narrative’s importance in the development of early Christian tradition has served as the primary focus of inquiry. A majority of interpreters argue that PJ functions apologetically to uphold both Mary’s virginity and, more importantly, the vir- Which Virgin?
A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of Virginity by Mary F. Foskett