Chapter

Frightful Women

Blake Leyerle

in Theatrical Shows and Ascetic Lives

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780520215580
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520921634 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520215580.003.0006
Frightful Women

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A shift in tone is instantly evident in the opening of John Chrysostom's treatise to the women. In the treatise to women, spiritual marriage is tragic because it concerns not common people but those of nobility. Uncovering the virgins' “dark secrets,” Chrysostom reveals their hateful motivation. It is noted in his treatise to the women that there is a remarkably similar focus on the house as a source of danger. His description assumes a typically female perspective, in which the house is seen as an enclosed space with a bed at the center. Furthermore, he turns to the issue of nomenclature through a sense of uneasiness and danger. His exposé of spiritual marriage appears bruising in its triviality. It may be suspected that Chrysostom's treatises are less about the men and women living in spiritual marriage than about himself, his own situation and self-understanding.

Keywords: spiritual marriage; John Chrysostom; treatise; women; virgins; nobility

Chapter.  17024 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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