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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 origin for the development of lady Christian piety and perform. unlike prior biblical interpreters who've drawn on both linguistic or ancient proof to wonder if Mary the parthenos is certainly a "virgin," during this learn Mary F. Foskett takes a varied 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 exhibit in resources and describes how they take advantage of this diversity of attainable meanings of their representations of Mary. Her examine departs from previous biblical interpretation by means of emphasizing neither the paradox of the time period parthenos nor the heritage of culture referring 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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His promotion of women’s health apart from marriage and reproduction brings into bold Bodies and Selves 45 relief the extent to which marriage was generally considered not only desirable but necessary for the health of marriageable young virgins. Roman cultic practices mirrored the expected life course of the female. As Ross Shepard Kraemer notes, At puberty, elite young girls dedicated their childhood togas to Fortuna Virginalis, and began instead to wear the stola, which publicly differentiated respectable women from prostitutes, who wore togas.

In the idealized world of these literary texts (the degree to which they re®ect actual practice is unclear), females who leave their father’s house in order to marry are to approach the marriage bed as virgins. Not only does the brideprice depend upon the bride’s virginity (M. Ket. 13–21; M. Ket. 108 The signi¤cance of the virgin’s higher monetary value is con¤rmed in the opening discussion of marriage law—the newly married husband can take legal action if he ¤nds that his wife is not a virgin (M.

While she is not united with the ¤re, as is a prophetess with the spirit of a god, she does commune with the sacred presence. 93 Lending witness to Roman understanding of what speci¤cally constitutes sacred virginity, the declamations clearly assume that virginity is something that can be taken away (“Nemo . . mihi virginitatem eripuit,” Controv. 1). As a bodily condition, it connotes chastity. Thus one speaker argues vehemently that “(n)o one can be convicted of unchastity unless her body has been violated” (Controv.

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