Chapter

The Ambiguity of the Feminine

David George Mullan

in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198269977
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600715 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198269978.003.0006
 The Ambiguity of the Feminine

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While Puritan divinity hewed closely to contemporary limitations on women's public roles, its promoters took seriously the spiritual needs of female parishioners and incorporated the feminine into their discourse. Marriage, if not theoretically between absolute equals, was based upon mutual affection, and it is clear that ministers were emotionally bound to their beloved spouses and took ‘godly’ women seriously as advisers. But women, while the weaker sex, retained the power to subvert the stronger sex, and so must behave modestly. Men who beat their wives behaved badly and were liable to censure. Women did take part in religious life in the home and were frequent participants when religion controversy went into the streets.

Keywords: affection; family; marriage; women in religion

Chapter.  14994 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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