The most fitting word with which to describe the Church Fathers' attitude toward
women is ambivalence. Women were God's creation, his good gift to men and the
curse of the world. They were weak in both mind and character and displayed
dauntless courage, undertook prodigious feats of scholarship. Vain, deceitful,
brimming with lust they led men to Christ, fled sexual encounter, wavered not
at the executioner's threats, adorned themselves with sackcloth and ashes. Leaving
the examination of the Fathersí psyches to other specialists, this volume
documents from an historical perspecitve the ways in which the Fathers praised
and blamed, honored and disparaged the female sex.
Elizabeth Clark, a patristic scholar and founder of the Department
of Religion at Mary Washington College, has drawn upon her depth of scholarship
and linguistic ability to make available to an educated but nonspecialized readership
an intriguing mosaic of opinions.”
Softbound. 264 pp.