The church as woman and mother: Historical and theological foundations

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Church as Woman and Mother demonstrates how we can inherit gendered images for the Church which derive from particular contexts, and that the loss of these contexts make the images devoid of the depth that they originally possessed.

Ancient Roman concepts such as "virginity", "marriage" and "motherhood" projected onto the Church, actually pointed to positive concepts. Examples of these concepts are the cultivation of virtues, the affirmation of bodies and sex, and the call to active participation of the entire community.

The concept of "virgin-motherhood" itself is a stumbling block for many Christian women today and yet for the early Christians, aware of the implications from ancient Rome, virginity as producing spiritual/moral fecundity made perfect sense.

Overall then, this book aims to contribute to the conversation about the role, suitability and implications of gendered imaging and rhetoric used for and within the contemporary Catholic Church.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherPaulist Press
Number of pages224
ISBN (Electronic)9781587686948
ISBN (Print)9780809153329
Publication statusPublished - 07 Sep 2018


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