The eternal virgin…

Jeanne de Montbaston

I planned to write this post about Mary Magdalene, the woman who is both reviled as a prostitute in medieval stories and honoured as a preacher in the early Church by some modern feminist theologians. I wanted to think about how Christian culture constructs icons of strong women that are both inspirational, and undercut with profound misogyny. But as I was thinking about this, I realized that even the most holy female figure in the Christian Church is subjected to this kind of treatment.

The Virgin Mary is one of the most powerful female symbols in the Western world, and was arguably the most powerful image of womanhood in medieval Europe.

For some modern feminists, Mary is a example of how appallingly misogynistic Christianity can be – a young woman, likely well below the modern age of consent, who was married off to an old man, disbelieved by him, and…

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