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The Image of a Wife and Marriage According to Christian Worldview

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Words: 608 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: May 24, 2022

Words: 608|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: May 24, 2022

Historically, women have always been under the control of male dominance and their value was measured on the basis of their biology. The inequality of the sexes has its roots in the inception of the world when Eve was created from Adam’s side and thus at once a woman was degraded to the secondary position. Since then, women have been relegated to their corporeality while men have been associated with reason and intellect. Consequently, as women have been associated with a body, they have been virtually excluded from the canons of the Western philosophy which has celebrated mind and condemned body. Even though women have been omitted in the canon, the texts still inscribe women’s nature. The message concerning woman’s nature is sometimes direct or sometimes it is just a short comment, however, it is always brutish and cruel. 

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Saint Augustine’s prominent autobiographical Confessions present the nature of women providing both positive and negative views on women which are complex and often contradictory. Nonetheless, the work clearly marks the superiority of men and places women as inferior. In Confessions, Augustine positions women and men on the same spiritual level, however, in any way does it mean that they are equal in the world. He specifies his statement by saying that ‘in reality, as an embodied creature, woman is “physically subject” to man, just as the natural impulses should be subject to reason.” Augustine, simply speaking, associates woman with appetites and body and subordinates her to man.

Saint Augustine’s belief about woman’s lower status is especially seen in his interpretation of Adam and Eve’s creation as well as in the interpretation of the Fall. Augustine underlines that God created man first and then formed woman out of man’s rib to indicate between them the relationship of subjection and superiority.

For him, it is indisputable that woman ought to be subject to man as “the gender hierarchy is a part of the original design of creation,” thus it is natural that man rule woman and woman serves him, as it eventuates from the order of creation and God’s intention. In the interpretation of the Fall, Augustine touches upon woman’s rationality which, in his belief, is lower than man’s. He demonstrates it by saying that the serpent started to tempt Eve, who as a woman, had less control over herself thus it was easier to deceive her than Adam, who as a man, was more rational and would not be so naive to submit.

Lastly, Augustine’s concept of marriage also explicitly undergirds his conviction about woman’s submissive role and lower status. The marriage, according to his views, is a relation of master to slave. In marriage, a is not supposed to make any decisions on her own and her most important duty is to serve her husband and execute his orders. Moreover, Augustine holds, that if a wife behaves independently it is husband’s obligation to subjugate her and in such case, a man is allowed and justified to give a disobedient woman a corporal punishment such as beating.

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A good Christian wife should remain fully obedient to her husband even if he is philandering and violent. Augustine even suggests that a wife is responsible for husband’s sexual affairs since “marriage should channel and control the male libido by keeping it tied to one ‘‘vessel,’’ and if this does not happen, the wife has failed.” Furthermore, even when a wife wants to turn to continence and contract out of sexual relations with her spouse, she must not do it without husband’s consent, which corresponds to the medieval idea, that a wife is compelled submit to husband’s sexual demands even if he would be leprous.        

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Image of a Wife and Marriage According to Christian WorldView. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-image-of-a-wife-and-marriage-according-to-christian-worldview/
“The Image of a Wife and Marriage According to Christian WorldView.” GradesFixer, 24 May 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-image-of-a-wife-and-marriage-according-to-christian-worldview/
The Image of a Wife and Marriage According to Christian WorldView. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-image-of-a-wife-and-marriage-according-to-christian-worldview/> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2024].
The Image of a Wife and Marriage According to Christian WorldView [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 24 [cited 2024 Apr 13]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-image-of-a-wife-and-marriage-according-to-christian-worldview/
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