Chapter

De Sancta Virginitate

P. G. Walsh

in De bono coniugali and De sancta virginitate

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780198269953
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601132 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198269951.003.0002

Series: Oxford Early Christian Texts

De Sancta Virginitate

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The treatise incorporates two main themes, virginity in itself, and the necessity of humility in consecrated virginity. Virginity itself is considered from three aspects: first, Christ and his mother are adduced as ideal types of fecund virginity. Second, virginity surpasses conjugal fidelity in merit; the goods of marriage are human goods, but consecrated virginity is angelic. But marriage is not to be disparaged by consecrated virgins. In demeaning it, the manichees misinterpret I Cor. 7, and Jovinian is condemned for equating marriage with it. Third, the nature of the reward in heaven is outlined. The second main topic of the treatise is the importance of humility. Scriptural models are proposed—the centurion, the Canaanite woman, the tax collector, and finally Christ himself.

Keywords: chastity; continence; eunuchs; humility; Mary as fecund virgin; The Church as virgin; The present necessity; virginity

Chapter.  35305 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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