Medieval Woman: Her Role In Society Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 7 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Essay Paper: #19600074 Related Topics: Medieval, Ephesians, Communion, Protestant Reformation
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Women: Luther and the Medieval Roman Catholic Church

The medieval view of women and the woman's role was essentially informed by a centuries-long, Christian informed tradition, upheld by patriarchal society. Thus, that there should exist a vast discrepancy between the views of Luther and the views of the medieval Roman Catholic Church regarding women is to perhaps wish too much. Modern feminism may be, to some extent, found in the works of Chaucer, whose Wife of Bath represents a departure from "acceptable" womanhood in the medieval world. But even a century and a half later not much has changed on this front. Luther's animus towards the Catholic Church was mainly doctrine and practice-centered. Luther had a conception of the faith that differed and evolved significantly as the Protestant Reformation got underway. Nonetheless, there can be found teachings by both Luther and the Catholic Church that can be compared for a better understanding of how said teaching influenced society and provided for a legacy that still exists in Western culture. This paper will examine these teachings and compare and contrast them.

The "nature of women" was a hot topic in the 16th century, a time when all long-standing traditions were coming under the microscope, so to speak.[footnoteRef:1] Luther's
The Church's teaching was basically that of St. Paul's in his epistle to the Ephesians: "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the
church, He Himself being the Savior of the body" (Eph 5:22-23). This teaching, on the other hand, did not mean that women held no significant role in the Catholic Church. The Mother of God was given a special position in the medieval Church, and the rosary, which consisted of 50 Ave Maria's, was largely a prayer to the Virgin Mother that was adopted in the 13th century as a powerful way to petition Heaven. Indeed, this practice of praying is "still a very common devotion among Catholics and some other Christians (e.g. some Anglicans)" to this day; such is the legacy of this aspect of the Church and its stance on this woman in particular.[footnoteRef:4] But other women have played significant roles as well: many have been declared saints by the Church, such as Agnes, Lucy, Mary Magdalene, Clare, and a host of others like St. Juliana who was a celebrated "mystic" Norwich in the 14th century.[footnoteRef:5] What they are extolled for, primarily, is their virtuous lives, and their upholding of the teachings of the…

Sources Used in Documents:


Darlage, Adam. "Double Honor: Elite Hutterite Women in the Sixteenth Century."

Church History, vol. 79, no. 4 (Dec 2010): 753-782

Karant-Nunn, Susan; Viesner-Hanks, Merry. Luther on Women: A Sourcebook. UK:

Cambridge, 2003.

Cite this Document:

"Medieval Woman Her Role In Society" (2015, August 08) Retrieved August 14, 2022, from

"Medieval Woman Her Role In Society" 08 August 2015. Web.14 August. 2022. <>

"Medieval Woman Her Role In Society", 08 August 2015, Accessed.14 August. 2022,

Related Documents
Women in Medieval European Society
Words: 1971 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Sports - Women Paper #: 5866127

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993. Goldberg, Jeremy. "Girls Growing Up in Later Medieval England." History Today, June 1995, 25+. Herlihy, David. Women, Family, and Society in Medieval Europe: Historical Essays, 1978-1991. Edited by a. Molho. Providence, RI: Berghahn Books, 1995. Purkiss, Diane. "The Case for Women in Medieval Culture." Medium Aevum 68, no. 1 (1999): 106. Richards, Earl Jeffrey. "Seulette a Part -- the Little WomanOn

Women in Medieval Society During
Words: 1963 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Sports - Women Paper #: 62497475

This gave her husband the right to sell any of her property and she was not in a position to object in any way. Religious women with their vows of obedience and poverty really had no reason to get involved in legal matters and were untouched in any way by the legal structure. Widows were the only women who held in legal position in the society. "She (a widow) regained

Role of Women in Tibet
Words: 3624 Length: 14 Pages Topic: Sports - Women Paper #: 76550039

The film Women of Tibet endeavors to give light on the probable happenings when in case two forces, the divine feminine and the sacred masculine commences to work together in a bid to create a more peaceful world. Helga Huebach ('Ladies of the Tibetan Empire') argues that males in the 7-9th century used high profiled women as a means of establishing their political stability by their matrimonial alliances.Before 1959 and

Women the Specific Attitude Toward Women in
Words: 854 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Native Americans Paper #: 73030733

Women The specific attitude toward women in medieval times was that they were inferior to men. Generally, women were taught that they should be meek and obedient to their fathers and husbands. This view of women was consistent to women of mythology in many ways. Many of the myths and legends created were directed towards women, to teach them lessons in humility and obeisance. They explained the social laws and rules

Medieval History
Words: 1903 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Sports - Women Paper #: 72542322

Northern and Southern California Gender and the Middle Ages Legend, Faith, and Historical Reality 'woman,' as was understood by a resident of Europe during the Middle Ages, was either the mother of Jesus or the physical embodiment of Eve's sin. In the rhetorical discourse of courtly love, women functioned either as representations of desire or objects of adoration for men to save. They could inspire heroic deeds in the hearts of knights yet

Women in the Ancient World: Witches, Wives,
Words: 1319 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Sports - Women Paper #: 74180721

Women in the Ancient World: Witches, Wives, And Whores One of the paradoxes of the ancient and medieval world is that although women were often discriminated against and treated as second class citizens (or not allowed to be citizens at all); they had an extremely central role in literature of the period. Women fulfilled a symbolic function in literature, representing foreignness, danger, and sexuality. Occasionally, when women's virtue surpassed that of