Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church

Theognosis

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greekischristian said:
and hopefully next time it comes up the people involved will have a better understanding of the details surrounding the issue, so we can at least have an substantive discussion.
You must be delusional. Cultural relativity is the cornerstone of your argument and, unfortunately for you, that has been clearly dismissed by the work of Prof. Terence Paige.ÂÂ

All the while, I have argued that the all-male priesthood was not culturally motivated in the Greco-Roman world, and up to this point, you have yet to present any evidence in history to save your position.

In this discussion, you were always speculative and never "substantive," so stop speaking as if you know the facts of Greco-Roman civilization.

Simply put, your cultural prejudice theory is a fiasco.  It is nothing but a product of your imagination.

 

minasoliman

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Ouch!

How about we stick to this part of the debate before we move on:  the cultural issues.  I think we need more arguments based on this.

Side considering women's ordination:  It was a cultural motivation.  Even if there were female priests, their roles were quite insignificant compared to authority, which were by men.  Thus, the Christian priesthood showed some sort of authority, and this authority was by men only culturally.

Side against women's ordination:  It wasn't a cultural motivation.  There were female priests who had strong authoritative roles, and if the Church found herself to conform to society, baptizing the culture, they could have easily incorporated female priesthood.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I seem to see both sides are saying.

God bless.

Mina
 

montalban

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Carpatho Russian said:
The Church teaches that Mary was "ever-virgin".  Jesus never said, "My Mother was ever-virgin.
And there you have an example that proves my point, not yours! You've answered your own challenge by providing a teaching of the church not found in the Gospel.

No where in the Bible does it teach that Mary was "ever-virgin", but we believe it. We believe it because we accept the tradition was taught to us by Mary herself, through John, who spent time looking after her. Things such as her dormition, etc we accept.

This teaching whilst not based on Gospel is not against the Gospel, and thus the authority of the Gospels are still upheld.

“For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed "perfect knowledge…," Irenaeus - "Against Heresies" Book III.I.I

http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-60.htm#P7297_1937859

See also John 13:7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will after this.”



So why are we not afraid of Gnsotic claims? Because we accept that the fullness of the teachings of Christ were given to all the Apostles. The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. The churches weren't in isolation from one another so that one church, if it ever started to bring in innovations could be checked against the 'truth' taught by the other churches.



St. Cyril of Alexandra said “All the Apostles had the full teaching of truth. " …for then Peter and John, who were of equal honour with each other, being both Apostles and holy disciples [would have been one, and], yet the two are not one." “Third Epistle of Cyril to Nestorius “ quoted at http://www.monachos.net/patristics/christology/cyril_to_nestorius_3.shtml



Thus any claims that there were 'secret' sayings of Jesus could and always were tested against the authority of the church as a whole.

 

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Well I'm too lazy to read all these pages. The Apostolic Constitutions explains, from Pauline theology, that it goes against the order of creation for a woman to be put ahead of a man:

Apostolic Constitutions III:9: "Now, as to women's baptizing, we let you know that there is no small peril to those that undertake it. Therefore we do not advise you to it; for it is dangerous, or rather wicked and impious. For if the "man be the head of the woman," and he be originally ordained for the priesthood, it is not just to abrogate the order of the creation, and leave the principal to come to the extreme part of the body. For the woman is the body of the man, taken from his side, and subject to him, from whom she was separated for the procreation of children. For says He, "He shall rule over thee." For the principal part of the woman is the man, as being her head. But if in the foregoing constitutions we have not permitted them to teach, how will any one allow them, contrary to nature, to perform the office of a priest? For this is one of the ignorant practices of the Gentile atheism, to ordain women priests to the female deities, not one of the constitutions of Christ. For if baptism were to be administered by women, certainly our Lord would have been baptized by His own mother, and not by John; or when He sent us to baptize, He would have sent along with us women also for this purpose. But now He has nowhere, either by constitution or by writing, delivered to us any such thing; as knowing the order of nature, and the decency of the action; as being the Creator of nature, and the Legislator of the constitution."

As for the Greco-Roman world, they had lots and lots of priestesses, so it wasn't a cultural problem unless you think that the Jewish Christians, who had an all-male priesthood, had any real influence after St. Paul and the other Fathers who formalized Christianity's break from Judaism and Hellenic converts greatly outnumbered the Jewish ones..
 

Theognosis

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How about we stick to this part of the debate before we move on:  the cultural issues.  I think we need more arguments based on this.
Right.  The cultural issue cannot be over-emphasized.  According to the proponents of women priests, culture--not theology--constructs the gender of the clergy.  And since it was culture which dictated the all-male priesthood in the 1st century, it is culture--not theology yet again--which will introduce female priesthood in the 21st century.

Side considering women's ordination:  It was a cultural motivation.  Even if there were female priests, their roles were quite insignificant compared to authority, which were by men.  Thus, the Christian priesthood showed some sort of authority, and this authority was by men only culturally.
This is desperation.  The issue of comparative role and authority was only brought up after I presented the cold hard facts about the existence of priestesses in the Roman Empire.  Moreover, contrary to what the proponents of women priesthood would assert, these priestesses had significant roles and authority in early times.

Side against women's ordination:  It wasn't a cultural motivation.  There were female priests who had strong authoritative roles, and if the Church found herself to conform to society, baptizing the culture, they could have easily incorporated female priesthood.
All this is supported by history and scholarship.  Not mere speculation.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I seem to see both sides are saying.
I think you got it right.
 

montalban

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SeanMc said:
Well I'm too lazy to read all these pages. The Apostolic Constitutions explains, from Pauline theology, that it goes against the order of creation for a woman to be put ahead of a man:

Apostolic Constitutions III:9: "Now, as to women's baptizing, we let you know that there is no small peril to those that undertake it. Therefore we do not advise you to it; for it is dangerous, or rather wicked and impious. For if the "man be the head of the woman," and he be originally ordained for the priesthood, it is not just to abrogate the order of the creation, and leave the principal to come to the extreme part of the body. For the woman is the body of the man, taken from his side, and subject to him, from whom she was separated for the procreation of children. For says He, "He shall rule over thee." For the principal part of the woman is the man, as being her head. But if in the foregoing constitutions we have not permitted them to teach, how will any one allow them, contrary to nature, to perform the office of a priest? For this is one of the ignorant practices of the Gentile atheism, to ordain women priests to the female deities, not one of the constitutions of Christ. For if baptism were to be administered by women, certainly our Lord would have been baptized by His own mother, and not by John; or when He sent us to baptize, He would have sent along with us women also for this purpose. But now He has nowhere, either by constitution or by writing, delivered to us any such thing; as knowing the order of nature, and the decency of the action; as being the Creator of nature, and the Legislator of the constitution."

As for the Greco-Roman world, they had lots and lots of priestesses, so it wasn't a cultural problem unless you think that the Jewish Christians, who had an all-male priesthood, had any real influence after St. Paul and the other Fathers who formalized Christianity's break from Judaism and Hellenic converts greatly outnumbered the Jewish ones..
You've cut right to the problem of those supporting ordination of women; lack of evidence. :D
 

ozgeorge

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Theognosis said:
Cultural relativity is the cornerstone of your argument
No, I'd say "cultural relativity" is something you've focused on, rather than  being the "cornerstone" of GiC's argument.

montalban said:
You've cut right to the problem of those supporting ordination of women; lack of evidence. :D
Oh please, not this again.

I think cleveland's suggestion is a good one to retire this thread and perhaps it can be brought up again with people who are are willing to listen to each other's research, rather than go off on tangents.
 

Theognosis

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ozgeorge said:
No, I'd say "cultural relativity" is something you've focused on, rather than being the "cornerstone" of GiC's argument.
You seem to have missed GiC's post emphasizing cultural relativity. To save you the hassle of going back to the 2nd page of this thread, here it is in all its "glory."

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8894.15

Yes, tradition is certainly the strongest of all arguments, but this argument presents fundamental difficulities on two levels. First, it is an argument from silence; while the ordination of women was never strongly supported in the history of the Church, neither was it strongly opposed. The reasonable conclusion is not a condemnation of the practice, but rather the that this is an issue that the Church has never had to address. The reason that it never had to address the issue is obvious, culture and society were such as to make women second-class citizens, culture prejudices against the equality of women were so strong as to not even allow a consideration of the issue from a theological perspective.

To this effect, a quote from St. John Chrysostom in his treatise On the Priesthood should be considered,

'When one is required to preside over the Church and to be entrusted with the care of so many souls, the whole female sex must retire before the magnitude of the task, and the majority of men also, and we must bring forward those who to a large extent surpass all others and soar as much above them in excellence of spirit as Saul overtopped the whole Hebrew nation in bodily stature.'

Chrysostom here argues that the reason women cannot be priests is not because of some theological reason prohibiting it, but rather because all women are too weak for such a task. Our experience, however, tells us that this is simply untrue, some women, like some men, are too week for the task, but, in all honesty, surely we cannot say that this is true of all women. Thus implying that Chrysostom's statement is simply based on a culturally generated bias and misconception.

Secondly, the difficulity with the argument from tradition is that no sound theological reasoning accompanies it; to quote Elisabeth Behr-Sigel on this problem, 'To those who ask us for the bread of understanding, we cannot be satisfied with offering only the stones of certitude hardened by negation.' Yet, the answers always given by the so-called conservatives to the issue of women priests are nothing more than 'certitude hardened by negation' accompanied by, at best, yiayiaology...theologies so unfounded and problematic that if taken to their logical conclusions would be either heresy, blasphemy, or simply utter absurdity (usually all three). It is little wonder why His Grace, Bishop Kallistos, has come to at least question a posistion so weakly held.

Since no one can seem to offer a sound theological reason for the failure to ordain women in the past (to say nothing of a reason steeped in patristic theology) I will offer a reason, though not theological for I do not believe the past inaction to be theological in motivation. As the above quote from Chrysostom demonstrates there was, without a doubt, an extreme cultural and social bias against women, the failure to ordain women had nothing to do with theology or faith and everything to do with discrimination and human fallenness. This is hardly a revolutionary proposition, the fact that women were second-class citizens in the Greco-Roman world is well documented; since this unfortunate mindset infected every other element and institution of society, it is most reasonable to believe it also influenced the Church. Of course, this is not only the case with the issue of the role of women in society, it can also be found in issues like slavery as well.

Now, while this mindset may have influenced various members of the Church, we can be greatful that the Holy Spirit safeguarded her, in large part, from the teachings that could have arose from this unfortunate weltanschauung. Thus, today, while women have yet to be accepted as equals in the Church we fortunately lack any treatise or established dogma against the correction of this situation and now, with the rectification of society, are in a posistion to effect this correction.


Emphasis is mine.

Take out all the "cultural" aspects in GiC's argument and what do you have?

You have no argument at all.

Of special interest here is the one I hilighted in red. This has been proven as mere SPECULATION, one which scholarship disproves.

::)

I think cleveland's suggestion is a good one to retire this thread and perhaps it can be brought up again with people who are are willing to listen to each other's research,
Yes, RESEARCH. Not SPECULATION.

rather than go off on tangents.
Going off on tangents is a bad habit. As you can see, I struck at the heart of GiC's statement.
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
No, I'd say "cultural relativity" is something you've focused on, rather than being the "cornerstone" of GiC's argument.
It simply puts in context the issue of the use of the word 'man' in quotes that support my side.

ozgeorge said:
Oh please, not this again.
Yes, it still is a valid objection; lest you want to actually introduce some argument for a change?
ozgeorge said:
I think cleveland's suggestion is a good one to retire this thread and perhaps it can be brought up again with people who are are willing to listen to each other's research, rather than go off on tangents.
I agree. Introduce some evidence. Hope this isn't 'flaming' but it would help the debate.
 

montalban

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Theognosis said:
Let me add that speculation does not count as one.
I agree. Though OzGeorge has stated that this is the reason he's posting here; because it's an issue - but only because he's speculating. It's all rather circular.
 

Carpatho Russian

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montalban said:
And there you have an example that proves my point, not yours! You've answered your own challenge by providing a teaching of the church not found in the Gospel.

No where in the Bible does it teach that Mary was "ever-virgin", but we believe it. We believe it because we accept the tradition was taught to us by Mary herself, through John, who spent time looking after her. Things such as her dormition, etc we accept.

This teaching whilst not based on Gospel is not against the Gospel, and thus the authority of the Gospels are still upheld.
Dude,
Don't you read?  Do you just shoot from the hip?
We're going nowhere with this because you refuse to really read and understand what I have posted.
I thought Pensateomnia explained the situtation very well in his post.  I, unfortunately, would not have been so charitable.
pensateomnia said:
I think we need to be a little more careful in reading and a little more precise in writing. You are certainly correct that the Church teaches and practices many things that are not explicitly taught or mentioned in the Bible, but such was not what our good friend Carpatho Russian asked you to prove. He said:

Notice that he bolded the word "Jesus." We all know that the Bible doesn't tell us to fast from dairy products on Wednesday -- or, for that matter, to celebrate the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy during Great Lent according to the Typikon of the Great Church of Christ. Carpatho Russian, however, wanted you to defend a particular argument that you made, i.e. that Jesus Himself "made His meaning more clear to the Apostles/Church." Here's the exact statement that started this mini-thread:

In other words, JESUS Himself somehow communicated a "more clear" message to his Apostles/Church. You imply, since you mentioned that "not everything Jesus said or did was written in the Bible," that Jesus communicated this "more clear" message while on earth. This is a radically different claim than saying that the CHURCH, through inspiration or any other means, began to practice certain spiritually beneficial things or decided to clarify certain doctrines based on Jesus' recorded teachings in the New Testament (although I don't think we can claim that the Church "clarified" Jesus' teaching on divorce!!). For example, we may say: "The CHURCH, since Her earliest years, encouraged fasting on Wednesday and Friday." But we do NOT say: "JESUS secretly told his Apostles/Church to fast on Wednesday and Friday." Dig the difference?

Thus, in order to answer Carpatho Russian's question and support your claim, you would need to provide an example of an extra-Biblical practice or doctrine that the Church specifically claims She has adopted because JESUS HIMSELF secretly taught it to his "Apostles/Church" (as opposed to one that the Church adopted at even a very early point).
 

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ozgeorge said:
I think cleveland's suggestion is a good one to retire this thread and perhaps it can be brought up again with people who are are willing to listen to each other's research, rather than go off on tangents.
I agree.
 

pensateomnia

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Theognosis said:
This is desperation.  The issue of comparative role and authority was only brought up after I presented the cold hard facts about the existence of priestesses in the Roman Empire.  Moreover, contrary to what the proponents of women priesthood would assert, these priestesses had significant roles and authority in early times.
We can't get too carried away in our zeal for this or that argument. Clearly, women in the ancient world did not have the same rights as men. (Well, most people didn't have "rights", since political actors didn't think in terms of "rights," but in terms of duty, responsibility and propriety.) Thus, men were by nature "public" figures, whose duty it was to represent the household in public, to conduct public business, to enter into the affairs of state and public economy. Women were duty-bound to do the same for the inner-workings of the household. To do otherwise would be scandalous and, in fact, impious. (Anyone ever read Ovid?)

And that's putting it mildly. I have argued against GiC's complete dismissal of women in ancient religion, but we can't just ignore the pervasive biases, stigmas and even polemic against women so evident in ancient societies. Such is obvious in almost any text written about women. If anyone doesn't already know this, just check out Gillian Clark's Women in Late Antiquity (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994); J.P.V.D. Baldson's Roman Women: Their History and Their Habits (London: The Bodley Head, 1962); Rowan Greer's "Alien Citizens: A Marvelous Paradox" in Civitas: Religious Interpretations of the City, Peter S. Hawkins, ed. (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986); or read any entry on women, religion and/or politics in any reputable academic encyclopedia.

Sure, certain pagan cults had female priests, but such didn't change the legal, political and familial role of women. In fact, many of these female priests had to exist outside the typical boundaries of femininity (by being virgins, sequestered, etc.). Even later on in the Empire, after Christianity's general triumph, married aristocratic pagan women occupied cultic rules in mystery cults at the approval and oversight of their husband. See, for example, the famous case of Paulina: http://www.stoa.org/diotima/anthology/wlgr/wlgr-religion439.shtml

Anyway, regardless of how one wants to tweak the evidence, all must admit that society, in general, placed various stigmas on public female leadership -- a stigma that was rooted in the belief that men were the natural leaders.

Now, how this belief was appropriated or not appropriated in Christianity -- and why -- is another matter.
 

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Continuing with the above in mind...

Chrysostom has a fairly well developed theology of the ontological distinctness of men and women. On the one hand, he emphasizes that they have an absolute identical nature and that every person, regardless of gender, class or education, is one in Christ. Yet, as a proper Late Antique thinker, he is very keen on the idea of hierarchy and divinely appointed order. Without order and regulation, society and the human person fall apart. He therefore sees God's Providence in what he perceives to be the "proper order" of everything: Nature (which is ruled by humanity), the human person (whose vicissitudes are ruled by reason), human society (which is ruled by divinely appointed rulers and laws) and even in the Godhead itself. Rule, in this sense, is not necessarily about rights, but about divine authority and voluntary (but necessary?) submission. God the Father, for example, is of the same exact essence as the Son, but the Son voluntarily submits to the authority of the Father -- and, at least in Chrysostom's thinking, this is (ontologically?) necessary (how could a son not submit to his father?).

Thus, in all relevant areas, according to Chrysostom, men rule women, or, to use the Biblical language, the man is "the head" and the woman is "the body." What does "head" and "body" mean? What is the proper relationship of men to women? Well, Chrysostom gives this explanation:

The one holds the rank (taxin) of a disciple, the other of a teacher; the one of a ruler (archontos), the other of a subject (archomenes). (PG 62.388A "Homily 12 on Colossians")
Symbols many and diverse have been given both to man and woman: to him that of rule, but to her that of subordination (upotages). (PG 61.216C "Homily 26 on I Corinthians")
To Chrysostom and his audience, this is all quite obvious and proper, reflected as it is in the world at large and in Scripture:

You are the head of the woman; then let the head regulate the rest of the body...And the rest of the body is appointed for service (diakonian), but the head is set to command. (PG 62.499D-500A "Homily 4 on II Thessalonians")
Chrysostom consistently emphasizes how obviously manifest this reality is in the world. God rules over all things; the State, composed of men, rules over society at large; men, being the head, rule their wives; all people, possessing a rational soul, rule over their passions -- there is perfect symmetry in all of God's creation.

And because of this order based on God-given authority and submission, Chrysostom can say that men are "more honorable" and "superior," since the head is obviously the "most honorable" part of the body (cf. PG 58.724D). Thus, in a famous passage, Chrysostom explains why Christ first appeared to women (hint: it ain't because the women were the ones to stick it out at the crucifixion!):

Therefore also He appeared to the women first. Because this sex was made inferior (to genos elattotai touto), therefore both in His birth and in His resurrection this (sex) first tastes of His grace. (PG 61.327C "Homily 38 on I Corinthians")
Women, in other words, need more help, more "grace," because they are naturally weaker than men (who, because of their strength, can stick it out without grace!!?). Of course, there is good reason to translate "inferior" as "weaker" or "less than" -- perhaps even lower in social position (and possibly in stature). This seems to be the case in an earlier homily on I Corinthians:

We still greatly need the woman in other more necessary things, and we require the help of our inferiors (elattonon) in those things which keep our life together. (PG 61.291D "Homily 34 on I Corinthians")
(Somebody's gotta do the cookin'!) Thus, it seems we should interpret "inferior" to mean "lower (in terms of social position)", which would make sense based on St. John's desire to find hierarchy in all areas of the created world. The problem, however, is that St. John, like most ancient people, seems to occasionally identify outward characteristics with inward qualities. Thus, social or physical inferiority can also imply moral inferiority, e.g. the physically weak female also has a weak will and is therefore prone to sin. This seems to be the way St. John and many other Fathers interpret Eve's transgression and women's general response to hardship, battle, temptation, etc. (cf. the many times St. John praises certain women for their manliness, for overcoming their weakness, especially if they do so by means of the virginal life). Thus, women are weaker and need to be protected. By their very nature, they are not given to daring and leadership. Although St. John obviously bases his statements on Scripture, his statements are quite similar to the assumptions, arguments and explanations we find in pagan Greco-Roman sources.

All of this is in David Ford's Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom. Pretty obvious stuff, since it pops up all over the Fathers. In general, Chrysostom is quite pro-women compared to many early Fathers (especially Augustine, Jerome, even Gregory of Nyssa -- and let's not even mention our good friend Tertullian!).
 

greekischristian

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montalban said:
You've cut right to the problem of those supporting ordination of women; lack of evidence. :D
No, lack of evidence isn't our problem, it's our point. In the absence of adequate evidence and sound theological arguments it becomes the Right of the Local Bishop, and at the very most the local synod, to decide whether to ordain women or not. The essence of the argument I have put forward isn't so much that women have to be ordained, but rather that the authority of the Episcopacy and the Synod have to be upheld as absolute on this issue, as should be the case when deciding how (or whether) to apply most customs found in the Church. What you're essentially arguing is that the Synod should be bound to follow your poorly supported personal opinion, regardless of what they believe or determine to be appropriate.

Reminds me of one of the lines Sgt. Hartman said mockingly to Pvt. Cowboy in Full Metal Jacket:
'Well thank you very much, can I be in charge for a while?'
 

Theognosis

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Clearly, women in the ancient world did not have the same rights as men. (Well, most people didn't have "rights", since political actors didn't think in terms of "rights," but in terms of duty, responsibility and propriety.) Thus, men were by nature "public" figures, whose duty it was to represent the household in public, to conduct public business, to enter into the affairs of state and public economy. Women were duty-bound to do the same for the inner-workings of the household. To do otherwise would be scandalous and, in fact, impious. (Anyone ever read Ovid?)

And that's putting it mildly. I have argued against GiC's complete dismissal of women in ancient religion, but we can't just ignore the pervasive biases, stigmas and even polemic against women so evident in ancient societies. Such is obvious in almost any text written about women. If anyone doesn't already know this, just check out Gillian Clark's Women in Late Antiquity (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994); J.P.V.D. Baldson's Roman Women: Their History and Their Habits (London: The Bodley Head, 1962); Rowan Greer's "Alien Citizens: A Marvelous Paradox" in Civitas: Religious Interpretations of the City, Peter S. Hawkins, ed. (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986); or read any entry on women, religion and/or politics in any reputable academic encyclopedia.
That point is invalid. The relationship between the political and the religious roles of women in ancient times have been shown to be INDEPENDENT of each other. Thus, it is unscholarly to apply the status of women in society to the status of women in religion.ÂÂ

Moreover, it is poor methodology to apply Roman culture in general to Greek culture in particular. It is a question of ethnicity.

Prof. Terence Paige cautions the uninitiated:

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
The second caution to make is not to lump together "ancient people" as if they were some homogenous culture. I realize probably no one reading this needs to be told, but it is still part of proper methodology. Evidence needs to be carefully tagged geographically and chronologically (since cultures change over time). It cannot be assumed that society and law in Egypt was the same as in Rome or Greece; or even that all of Greece was undifferentiated.

Incidentally, the case of treating the Greco-Roman empire as one homogenous culture is one of the many blunders GiC has made in this thread.

Anyway, regardless of how one wants to tweak the evidence, all must admit that society, in general, placed various stigmas on public female leadership -- a stigma that was rooted in the belief that men were the natural leaders.
"In general?" That is the problem with that line of argument, actually. To illustrate:

1. Women are "inferior" in Greco-Roman society in general.
2. Therefore, women are "inferior" in religion in particular.


The argument above is a logical fallacy, and history proves that it is wrong. One cannot generalize the status of women in society and apply it to religion. Allow me to quote Prof. Paige one more time.

When we turn from the profane to the realm of the sacred, it is striking what a difference is to be seen. Even in the Greek world during the classical era--in general a more restrictive time for women everywhere than the first century A.D.--women are found participating and officiating at every level in religious cults, both private and public.

Proof of a good argument is scholarly backing and sound methodology. The arguments of the proponents of female priesthood possess neither.

:-\
 

greekischristian

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Theognosis said:
That point is invalid. The relationship between the political and the religious roles of women in ancient times have been shown to be INDEPENDENT of each other. Thus, it is unscholarly to apply the status of women in society to the status of women in religion.
As my previous analysis of Imperial Religion demonstrated the discrimination against women was present in secular and religious spheres. While presence in either sphere would be adequate to prove my point of a culture of discrimination it is present in both. Frankly, in the light of the volumes that have been published on this issue (consider the ones pensateomnia posted as a good place to start), the universal discrimination against women is clear and manifest, the remnants of which are still manifest in our society today.

While I consider this issue settled, I will point out one fundamental flaw in your argument, you correctly state that we should not lump people from different regions together just because they are from the same time, I will add to that that we should not lump people of different times together just because they are from the same regions. You cite examples from the classical era, before the Roman conquest and notable Imperial influence, the relevant time here is the late second and thrid centuries after Christ, perhaps you could provide scholarship from those eras.

However, even that would not be enough, because we must realize that the initial influence on Christian worship in its most formative years was Jewish, many of the Ancient Services that evolved into what we have today were based on either the Synagogue or Temple services of Israel, both of which were officiated by men; surely you dont need citations to demonstrate the extreme misogyny that traditionally existed in Israel. Thus our initial practices would have been influenced by those, when the pagan influences began to manifest themselves in the next century, a compelling reason to change would have had to present itself. The most compelling issue was that the Church needed women to care for women because of the social standards of the day, this problem was solved by instituting the Ordained order of the Deaconess (the creation of this as an Ordained order happened somewhere between the first and fourth oecumenical synods). But the extremely misogynistic culture of the day would not allow women to have positions of authority and be the equal of men.
 

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As my previous analysis of Imperial Religion demonstrated the discrimination against women was present in secular and religious spheres.
No, the discrimination against women among Greeks is virtually absent in the religious sphere.  The fact remains that women enjoyed special privileges in the field of religion, which is in direct contrast to their "inferior" role in society.

While presence in either sphere would be adequate to prove my point of a culture of discrimination it is present in both.
What you need to establish is the connection between the secular and the religious spheres given the facts of history, i.e. how the two are related.  You repeatedly assert in the absence of historical support that the degree of discrimination against women in Greco-Roman society in general is DIRECTLY proportional to the degree, if any, of discrimination against women in the field of religion.

Frankly, in the light of the volumes that have been published on this issue (consider the ones pensateomnia posted as a good place to start), the universal discrimination against women is clear and manifest, the remnants of which are still manifest in our society today.
Going from the universal to the particular again?  Why do you keep on holding to this fallacy?

While I consider this issue settled, I will point out one fundamental flaw in your argument, you correctly state that we should not lump people from different regions together just because they are from the same time, I will add to that that we should not lump people of different times together just because they are from the same regions.
Of course geography is important.  When did I say that it was not?

You cite examples from the classical era, before the Roman conquest and notable Imperial influence, the relevant time here is the late second and thrid centuries after Christ, perhaps you could provide scholarship from those eras.
No, I cited first century events also.  The link I gave is essentially a survey of 1st century Corinth. 

As for the second and third centuries...

However, even that would not be enough, because we must realize that the initial influence on Christian worship in its most formative years was Jewish, many of the Ancient Services that evolved into what we have today were based on either the Synagogue or Temple services of Israel, both of which were officiated by men; surely you dont need citations to demonstrate the extreme misogyny that traditionally existed in Israel.
Look, you just said that the relevant time is the late second and third centuries after Christ, and now you're saying that it is actually the formative years of Christianity which was brought about by Old Testament "misoginy."  You're confused.  You should make up your mind and stick to a single theory.

At any rate, your argument is based on a single presupposition: that the institution of male priesthood in both Old and New Testaments is a product of a misogynistic culture. 

That's basically your conclusion in a nutshell.

And that's circular reasoning.

Thus our initial practices would have been influenced by those, when the pagan influences began to manifest themselves in the next century, a compelling reason to change would have had to present itself.
That's another blunder.  You're saying that the acceptance of women in the 2nd century is a pagan concept.  If that is so, then ordination of women wouldn't be a good thing.
 

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Carpatho Russian said:
Dude,
Don't you read?
They tell me I don't count, but I guess I'll add that one to the list.
Carpatho Russian said:
Do you just shoot from the hip?
We're going nowhere with this because you refuse to really read and understand what I have posted.
If I seem to you to have ignored the following...
pensateomnia said:
Thus, in order to answer Carpatho Russian's question and support your claim, you would need to provide an example of an extra-Biblical practice or doctrine that the Church specifically claims She has adopted because JESUS HIMSELF secretly taught it to his "Apostles/Church"
It's because I don't accept the premise of the challenge. I don't because I don't believe any of His teachings were secret. I already noted this in a thread previous to yours (Post #562). Perhaps you missed that? I'll revisit this idea, at the end of the thread, just to make sure we're all clear on it.

Carpatho Russian said:
I thought Pensateomnia explained the situation very well in his post. I, unfortunately, would not have been so charitable.
Sorry, I thought the logic of it was self-evident.

Jesus taught us 'stuff' in the Bible.
The Bible itself says that not all that 'stuff' that Jesus taught is in the Bible.
We believe in things that aren't taught in the Bible. Some are ideas that are novel (the Ever-Virgin Mary), some are differences in detail.
The issue of divorce is one such example of the latter. Now you either believe that the Church is teaching something absolutely contrary to what Jesus taught, or you believe it isn't. That's as simple as it gets. The Church itself (I don't believe) has the authority to 're-write' what Jesus taught. So assuming you believe that the Church teaches Jesus' message, then the 'details' of divorce must come from Jesus. It goes the same for all the 'examples' you gave in #551.

A modification to this I would believe is that one can accept is to state that the details came from the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, rather than from Jesus during His ministry. And I can add to this that 'details' of Mary's life may have been given by the Theotokos herself.

In reading (and I've still not finished it) “St. Cyril of Alexandria: The Christological Controversy : Its History, Theology, and Texts” by John Anthony McGuckin we see how the church reacted when challenged to a truth. When teaching on the issue of the Trinity, Cyril's argument in effect said "This is what we always taught". You either believe that Jesus said some things and the church teaches a very different idea, or that the church continues with what Jesus taught as it always has. There was no secret there, for it was always taught. The 'details' of the Triune nature of God are not found in the Bible... for theologians of Cyril's day (later ones too) had to come up with new words to describe more exactly the nature of the union of the Trinity... which they always taught and believed.

Which do you believe? That... ?
a) the church teaches things contrary to what Jesus taught
b) the church made up the details
c) the church has always taught the Way of Jesus
d) another way I've not yet considered.
 

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montalban said:
They tell me I don't count, but I guess I'll add that one to the list.
If I seem to you to have ignored the following...It's because I don't accept the premise of the challenge. I don't because I don't believe any of His teachings were secret.
Okay. That's good. In other words, you misspoke/miswrote when you said:

montalban said:
I would conclude that Jesus made His meaning more clear to the Apostles/Church which allowed for these things (re: divorce in some circumstances).
Because if Jesus, in fact, made His meaning "more clear" on divorce -- and this "more clear" meaning is at odds with what is contained in the Scripture -- then such would be a secret teaching, wouldn't it? Just like he made himself "more clear" about the real nature of women at the end of the Sayings Gospel of Thomas.

Jesus taught us 'stuff' in the Bible.
The Bible itself says that not all that 'stuff' that Jesus taught is in the Bible.
We believe in things that aren't taught in the Bible. Some are ideas that are novel (the Ever-Virgin Mary), some are differences in detail.
The issue of divorce is one such example of the latter...So assuming you believe that the Church teaches Jesus' message, then the 'details' of divorce must come from Jesus.
??? There's the same logic again. JESUS HIMSELF secretly taught the Apostles a truth about divorce that was at odds with what he taught in public. Maybe Karen King is right! The Gospel of Thomas SHOULD be considered the fourth gospel. I mean, Jesus certainly had some harsh words for the Samaritan woman! He probably really hated women (and called for divorce!), but he didn't want too many people to know that, so he only told the Apostles in secret.

In all seriousness: Of course Jesus told his disciples things that did not get recorded in Scripture, but, as St. Ireneaus goes to great length to prove, these things were never at odds with what he publicly proclaimed. Further, we don't know exactly what he told his Apostles vs. what his Apostles (and the early Church) later discerned as right and fitting with the inspiration of the Spirit.

I mean, that's why Jesus sent the Comforter in the first place, right? To lead us into the fullness of Truth? Doesn't it make more sense to claim that all-male priesthood is a truth revealed to the Church through the Spirit? (It's just as non-falsifiable, but at least it isn't willfully anachronistic).

Second: Even if we take your strange and anachronistic line, the Apostles never taught that divorce was acceptable on the grounds of impotency! (Where does St. Paul say that!?) Nor did they teach that a SECOND divorce was acceptable. The Apostles, the early Fathers, the canons -- all of these -- for EIGHT CENTURIES taught something obviously different than what we now practice. That's why there was a controversy in the 9th century! Why would there have been a controversy over the Church's innovative acceptance of divorce for extra-Scriptural reasons if this was somehow a "more clear" teaching from Jesus? The mind is boggled.

As far as the Church's stance on divorce being a "difference in the details," let's just quote from St. Theodore the Studite, who called it a "grievous false teaching," "heresy," "heretical impiety" and urged all his spiritual children "neither to commune with these individuals, nor to commemorate them in the most holy monastery at the Divine Liturgy, because very grave are the threats voiced by the Saints against those who compromise with it [the Moechian heresy], even with regard to eating together." St. Theodore the Studite, Patrologia Græca, Vol. XCIX, col. 1048CD and 1049A (Epistle I.39: "To Theophilos the Abbot").

St. Theodore could not find anyone who could explain how this innovation on divorce accorded with Christ's teaching and eight centuries of Tradition. Perhaps some such person exists today?
 

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Theognosis said:
Look, you just said that the relevant time is the late second and third centuries after Christ, and now you're saying that it is actually the formative years of Christianity which was brought about by Old Testament "misoginy." You're confused. You should make up your mind and stick to a single theory.
Ok, I'm going to say this again, and very carefully this time, to make sure you get it. The history of Christianity is the History of the Marriage of Greek and Jewish Culture, the unity of Philosophy and Law. We began very Jewish and ended up with strong Pagan and Jewish influences. The inital basis for our customs, theology, law, etc. was Jewish law, adapted for missionary work. As the Church spread the Greeco-Roman Influence increase, considerably influencing the evolution of our theology, traditions, and customs. Thus, the primary influence on Christianity until about AD 150, give or take a few decades, would have been Jewish, thereafter pagan (non-Jewish) influence would begin to increase, so while we still had that base the future evolution of that base would be based on pagan culture. That's why BOTH are factors, it's not either or; we must consider the initial influences on the Church and Evolution of the Church, dependent on the social realities it encountered.

At any rate, your argument is based on a single presupposition: that the institution of male priesthood in both Old and New Testaments is a product of a misogynistic culture.ÂÂ
Well, no one has yet given me anything even approaching a viable theological explanation, so I would say that my initial hypothesis (by now Theory) is pretty well grounded. However, what is somewhat sickening is that people are giving (essentially heretical), poorly developed, off-the-cuff, 'theological' explanations, trying to theologically defend (and, presumably, thereby justify???) this great atrocity. And, frankly, in the absence of an EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological argument to the Contrary, one which is beyond reproach, I believe that the rational mind can only accept the reasonable sociological conclusion that I have drawn. Of course, being finals week and all I dont have the time to devote to the proper research (as though I'm going to do substantial research for an internet message board anyway), but some things are rather self-evident.

That's basically your conclusion in a nutshell.

And that's circular reasoning.
A culture was misogynistic, therefore when this culture developed religion men had greater influence than women...I fail to see the circular reasoning of that argument. The conclusion may be so obvious to be called a corollary, but that's hardly circular by any stretch of the imagination.

Or are you refering to the Church being influenced by the Jews who initially formed it being circular? I fear that unless you're doing some very strange (yet fun) things with the general theory of relativity, timelines are not circular.

That's another blunder. You're saying that the acceptance of women in the 2nd century is a pagan concept. If that is so, then ordination of women wouldn't be a good thing.
The Trinity is also a concept that came from paganism, you dont see many trinitarian Jews today, do you? So I presume that you want to throw out the doctrine of the Trinity as well? We're Christians, not Jews, if you want to be a Jew, why don't you go join them? ::)
 

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Theognosis said:
Prof. Terence Paige cautions the uninitiated:
Oh! How could I, an uninitiate, have been so foolish as to contradict a New Testament professor at a small Protestant college! Oh, wait! Phew. I actually didn't contradict him! I read his article (which was nice, considering its intentionally limited scope) and not only are you so eager to disprove GiC that you lump ME in with him and misread/misapply my statements, you also extract pieces of Prof. Paige's article out of context...GiC should be proud that his rhetoric over evidence approach is spreading.

Sigh. Nevermind. I had a point-by-point response, but lost it when I got automatically logged off. What's the point when faced with knee-jerk reactions and argument by appeal to "authority"? (I mean, I assume you've read all of what Pliny the Elder, Cicero and Ovid had to say on the role of women in society and religion before coming to your conclusions, right? That you've examined the many relevant sections of St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Jerome, St. John Chrysostom? That you've come to terms with Gillian Clark's Women in Late Antiquity and have produced excellent primary-source-based rebuttals of Elizabeth Clark's and Averil Cameron's many books on the subject. Surely, one wouldn't make up one's mind and make public proclamations on the issue before doing so, right?)

Here's the pertinent question: What do you make of St. John Chrysostom's view of women?
 

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Oh! How could I, an uninitiate, have been so foolish as to contradict a New Testament professor at a small Protestant college! Oh, wait! Phew.
Perfect.  Ad hominem is a such a [/i]good[/i] rebuttal.

Sigh. Nevermind. I had a point-by-point response, but lost it when I got automatically logged off. What's the point when faced with knee-jerk reactions and argument by appeal to "authority"? (I mean, I assume you've read all of what Pliny the Elder, Cicero and Ovid had to say on the role of women in society and religion before coming to your conclusions, right? That you've examined the many relevant sections of St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Jerome, St. John Chrysostom? That you've come to terms with Gillian Clark's Women in Late Antiquity and have produced excellent primary-source-based rebuttals of Elizabeth Clark's and Averil Cameron's many books on the subject. Surely, one wouldn't make up one's mind and make public proclamations on the issue before doing so, right?)
You seem to be an expert on the subject.  How about sharing with us--without resorting to logical fallacy--their views on the roles of women in RELIGION in the Roman Empire and how it supposedly influenced Christianity, particularly in the gender of the priesthood? 

Here's the pertinent question: What do you make of St. John Chrysostom's view of women?
I will not speculate as others do.  And neither will I re-interpret the words he wrote.
 

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Theognosis said:
Oh! How could I, an uninitiate, have been so foolish as to contradict a New Testament professor at a small Protestant college! Oh, wait! Phew.
Perfect. Ad hominem is a such a [/i]good[/i] rebuttal.
What ad hominem? He didn't attack you, he attacked your so-called authority figure...attacking the authority in an 'appeal to authority' argument is not an ad hominem. ::)
 

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Ok, I'm going to say this again, and very carefully this time, to make sure you get it.
I know what you're trying to say.  How about sharing some evidence?

The history of Christianity is the History of the Marriage of Greek and Jewish Culture, the unity of Philosophy and Law. We began very Jewish and ended up with strong Pagan and Jewish influences. The inital basis for our customs, theology, law, etc. was Jewish law, adapted for missionary work.
The New Testament is not the continuation of the Mosaic Covenant. 

As the Church spread the Greeco-Roman Influence increase, considerably influencing the evolution of our theology, traditions, and customs.
Let's be specific.  The problem for you is that Christianity NEVER adopted the Greco-Roman custom and tradition of ordaining women to the priesthood. 

Not in the second century.  Not in the third century.  And not after 2,000 years.

Thus, the primary influence on Christianity until about AD 150, give or take a few decades, would have been Jewish, thereafter pagan (non-Jewish) influence would begin to increase, so while we still had that base the future evolution of that base would be based on pagan culture.
The evolution of Christianity is dependent on pagan culture?  If paganism is dead (as it is today), how does the church supposedly evolve?

That's why BOTH are factors, it's not either or; we must consider the initial influences on the Church and Evolution of the Church, dependent on the social realities it encountered.
Of course they are factors, but you have to be specific.

Well, no one has yet given me anything even approaching a viable theological explanation, so I would say that my initial hypothesis (by now Theory) is pretty well grounded.
Grounded on what? 

However, what is somewhat sickening is that people are giving (essentially heretical), poorly developed, off-the-cuff, 'theological' explanations, trying to theologically defend (and, presumably, thereby justify???) this great atrocity.
To a certain extent, I agree with you here.  It's not that I find the theological arguments poorly developed, but I don’t find it necessary to defend tradition by quoting the Bible like what the Protestants practice.  After all, we're not fundamentalists.  As you can see, I never quoted the Bible and shared my personal interpretation of it.

And, frankly, in the absence of an EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological argument to the Contrary, one which is beyond reproach, I believe that the rational mind can only accept the reasonable sociological conclusion that I have drawn.
You're suggesting a false dichotomy between the theological and the cultural causes.  Concerning the gender of the priesthood, please present historical evidence that culture and religion are related.

Of course, being finals week and all I dont have the time to devote to the proper research (as though I'm going to do substantial research for an internet message board anyway), but some things are rather self-evident.
Good luck to your exam, man.

A culture was misogynistic, therefore when this culture developed religion men had greater influence than women...I fail to see the circular reasoning of that argument. The conclusion may be so obvious to be called a corollary, but that's hardly circular by any stretch of the imagination.
I think you fail to understand my point that historically, culture does not influence religion, at least in the gender of the priesthood.

Or are you refering to the Church being influenced by the Jews who initially formed it being circular?
No, it's about you allegation that the Jewish religion is misogynistic, i.e. that its priesthood was culturally constructed.  You use this as a premise to your conclusion.

I fear that unless you're doing some very strange (yet fun) things with the general theory of relativity, timelines are not circular.
Fix your logic, and maybe we can talk about relativity.

 

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greekischristian said:
What ad hominem? He didn't attack you, he attacked your so-called authority figure...attacking the authority in an 'appeal to authority' argument is not an ad hominem. ::)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
An ad hominem fallacy consists of asserting that someone's argument is wrong and/or they are wrong to argue at all purely because of something discreditable/not-authoritative about the person or those persons cited by them rather than addressing the soundness of the argument itself. The implication is that the person's argument and/or ability to argue correctly lacks authority. Merely insulting another person in the middle of otherwise rational discourse does not necessarily constitute an ad hominem fallacy. It must be clear that the purpose of the characterization is to discredit the person offering the argument, and, specifically, to invite others to discount his arguments. In the past, the term ad hominem was sometimes used more literally, to describe an argument that was based on an individual, or to describe any personal attack. But this is not how the meaning of the term is typically introduced in modern logic and rhetoric textbooks, and logicians and rhetoricians are widely agreed that this use is incorrect.
 

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greekischristian said:
Well, no one has yet given me anything even approaching a viable theological explanation, so I would say that my initial hypothesis (by now Theory) is pretty well grounded.
I've never thought that the absence of opposing argument by itself was ever evidence of the truth of any hypothesis.  Can you actually prove that your hypothesis is true on its own merit without appealing to the silence of the opposition?

However, what is somewhat sickening is that people are giving (essentially heretical), poorly developed, off-the-cuff, 'theological' explanations, trying to theologically defend (and, presumably, thereby justify???) this great atrocity.
I think I've already shown that St. Paul's theological hierarchy can be interpreted in such a way as to oppose women's ordination WITHOUT leading to Arianism.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8894.msg120327#msg120327

And, frankly, in the absence of an EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological argument to the Contrary, one which is beyond reproach, I believe that the rational mind can only accept the reasonable sociological conclusion that I have drawn.
I have a pretty rational mind, and I don't accept the sociological conclusion that you have drawn.  In fact, to change the status quo, you need to provide us the EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological and sociological reasons for your position that we should change our practice.  So far, your reasoning is no more convincing than the reasoning of any other person I've read here.

Of course, being finals week and all I dont have the time to devote to the proper research (as though I'm going to do substantial research for an internet message board anyway), but some things are rather self-evident.
Self-evident to whom?


In summary:
So, let me get this straight.  You think the Church needs to adapt to cultural norms by ordaining women to the priesthood, and until we formulate what you would consider an airtight reason for continuing the "atrocious" practice of excluding women from the priesthood we should abolish this exclusion.  I think this is totally the wrong approach.  Considering the major and potentially irreparable damage such a change as women's ordination would cause, we should seek rather to maintain the status quo until we can formulate an airtight reason why we should actively ordain women.  So far, your argument that we should adapt to cultural norms reeks of conformity with the mindset of this world, which the Apostle Paul warned us to avoid.
 

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Theognosis said:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
An ad hominem fallacy consists of asserting that someone's argument is wrong and/or they are wrong to argue at all purely because of something discreditable/not-authoritative about the person or those persons cited by them rather than addressing the soundness of the argument itself. The implication is that the person's argument and/or ability to argue correctly lacks authority. Merely insulting another person in the middle of otherwise rational discourse does not necessarily constitute an ad hominem fallacy. It must be clear that the purpose of the characterization is to discredit the person offering the argument, and, specifically, to invite others to discount his arguments. In the past, the term ad hominem was sometimes used more literally, to describe an argument that was based on an individual, or to describe any personal attack. But this is not how the meaning of the term is typically introduced in modern logic and rhetoric textbooks, and logicians and rhetoricians are widely agreed that this use is incorrect.
I think you've got to come up with a better source than Wiki.  I'm not going to comment on your characterization of the definition of ad hominem, but at the same time you're inviting an attack on the foundation of your sources when you use ones as dubious as Wiki.  (Of course, I think this is the point pensateomnia was making in his comment - i.e. you're appealing to someone as an authority that may not be so, as indicated by his relative lack of status within his own community as evidenced by his status within the community - being at a small school.  Most of those guys who are good end up at more prestigious institutions, or have critically peer-acclaimed works to their credit.)
 

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cleveland said:
I think you've got to come up with a better source than Wiki. I'm not going to comment on your characterization of the definition of ad hominem, but at the same time you're inviting an attack on the foundation of your sources when you use ones as dubious as Wiki.ÂÂ
That's a red herring. You can look it up in the dictionary.

(Of course, I think this is the point pensateomnia was making in his comment - i.e. you're appealing to someone as an authority that may not be so, as indicated by his relative lack of status within his own community as evidenced by his status within the community - being at a small school. Most of those guys who are good end up at more prestigious institutions, or have critically peer-acclaimed works to their credit.)
If pensateoma has problems with the material, then let him (or her) criticize the content. The things I cited were simply a matter of fact, and it does not involve a modicum of subjectivity on the part of the author which would otherwise require an authoritative source.ÂÂ

For instance, do you need the blessings of the Patriarch of Constantinople to approve the historical fact that in the early times, women were appointed priestesses in the face of a male-dominated society?

No.  Because religious affiliation is irrelevant in matters of ancient history.

 

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I've never thought that the absence of opposing argument by itself was ever evidence of the truth of any hypothesis.  Can you actually prove that your hypothesis is true on its own merit without appealing to the silence of the opposition?
Amen.

I have a pretty rational mind, and I don't accept the sociological conclusion that you have drawn.  In fact, to change the status quo, you need to provide us the EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological and sociological reasons for your position that we should change our practice.  So far, your reasoning is no more convincing than the reasoning of any other person I've read here.
Amen.

Self-evident to whom?
To GiC alone.

In summary:
So, let me get this straight.  You think the Church needs to adapt to cultural norms by ordaining women to the priesthood, and until we formulate what you would consider an airtight reason for continuing the "atrocious" practice of excluding women from the priesthood we should abolish this exclusion.  I think this is totally the wrong approach.
Amen. 

Considering the major and potentially irreparable damage such a change as women's ordination would cause, we should seek rather to maintain the status quo until we can formulate an airtight reason why we should actively ordain women.
Exactly.  GiC needs to present EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological and sociological reasons for ordaining women.
 

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pensateomnia said:
Okay. That's good. In other words, you misspoke/miswrote when you said:
<snip>
I have never said He made for secret teachings. I said He made them more clear. So I didn't miswrite anything.
pensateomnia said:
Because if Jesus, in fact, made His meaning "more clear" on divorce -- and this "more clear" meaning is at odds with what is contained in the Scripture -- then such would be a secret teaching, wouldn't it? Just like he made himself "more clear" about the real nature of women at the end of the Sayings Gospel of Thomas.
I've already dealt with the 'objections' that heretics/gnostics might level. I've even quoted one of the earliest works against them. If you wish to continue to ignore that, and suppose that this lets the door in for gnosticism, then I don't really have any wish to deal further with someone continually ignoring what I write.
pensateomnia said:
??? There's the same logic again. JESUS HIMSELF secretly taught the Apostles a truth about divorce that was at odds with what he taught in public.
That's you assuming that it's at odds. In your 'defence' against Gnosticism, you simply charge the entire church with making things up
 

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Theognosis said:
Exactly. GiC needs to present EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological and sociological reasons for ordaining women.
An interesting choice of words. :)

So far the opposition who have no evidence to put forward seem now intent on speculating that the church also teaches the opposite of what Jesus taught (see side-issue on divorce).

What evidence do they have for that? More speculation.
 

greekischristian

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cleveland said:
I think you've got to come up with a better source than Wiki. I'm not going to comment on your characterization of the definition of ad hominem, but at the same time you're inviting an attack on the foundation of your sources when you use ones as dubious as Wiki. (Of course, I think this is the point pensateomnia was making in his comment - i.e. you're appealing to someone as an authority that may not be so, as indicated by his relative lack of status within his own community as evidenced by his status within the community - being at a small school. Most of those guys who are good end up at more prestigious institutions, or have critically peer-acclaimed works to their credit.)
No, no...let's go with this one. ;)

Over at http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/prej_gen.asp Fr. John Wijngaards says that the failure to ordain women was culturally biased. And don't you dare attack Fr. John as an absolute and unquestionable authority on the matter...THAT would be an ad hominem. ;D
 

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montalban said:
An interesting choice of words. :)

So far the opposition who have no evidence to put forward seem now intent on speculating that the church also teaches the opposite of what Jesus taught (see side-issue on divorce).

What evidence do they have for that? More speculation.
Yeah! Right on! How dare St. Theodore the Studite "speculate" about such things!
 

greekischristian

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PeterTheAleut said:
I think I've already shown that St. Paul's theological hierarchy can be interpreted in such a way as to oppose women's ordination WITHOUT leading to Arianism.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8894.msg120327#msg120327
I'm sorry, I missed that one in the flood of posts this topic has generated.

PeterTheAleut said:
Here's an example of what I mean by this approach:

St. John the Theologian tells us repeatedly that Christ is God, a truth the Church defended (against Arius) by formulating the Nicene Creed.  In His Essential unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Christ is indeed the head of man, for in submitting to Christ we submit to God.

St. John also tells us that Christ is Man, a truth the Church defended repeatedly in the Third through Seventh Ecumenical Councils.  In His essential unity with all Mankind, Christ submits to the will of the Father as we do.  Seeing this, St. Paul can teach that the head of Christ is God.

In His Divinity, Christ is the head of man.  In His humanity, Christ submits to the Father, making God the head of Christ.  And, very importantly, we have not separated the embryonic theology of St. Paul from the more-developed Christology of St. John the Theologian, thereby avoiding the path of Arianism.
Yes, you have avoided both Arianism and Ebionitism, unfortunately you're now advocating Nestorianism. When discussing the 'two-ness' of Christ defined by the fourth through sixth synods, we can't forget the 'one-ness' of Christ as defined by the third. In Paul's comparison, you can't compare natures, we are ontologically identified by our personhood, not our nature, for if we were identified by the latter then we could say that there are 'two Christs.' And that only the human Christ was born to Mary the 'Christotokos.' No, it is the one Person of Christ, the Divine Son of God, that must be considered, so are you saying that the person of Christ is not consubstantial with the Father? Or are you saying that there are two Christs, and only one of them is consubstantial with the Father?

Furthermore, against the decrees of the Synod of Ephesus, assume this is a comparison of natures. Are you suggesting that there is a difference in nature between men and women (who the Church has always taught shared a common human nature) that is akin to the difference between the divine nature and the human nature? For if the comparison between God and Christ is between Divine and Human, and the comparison between Christ and man is between God and Human, are you really implying that the difference between men and women is the difference between some (demi-)gods and humans...or between humans and some creature that is as far below you as you are below God???

In summary:
So, let me get this straight. You think the Church needs to adapt to cultural norms by ordaining women to the priesthood, and until we formulate what you would consider an airtight reason for continuing the "atrocious" practice of excluding women from the priesthood we should abolish this exclusion. I think this is totally the wrong approach. Considering the major and potentially irreparable damage such a change as women's ordination would cause, we should seek rather to maintain the status quo until we can formulate an airtight reason why we should actively ordain women. So far, your argument that we should adapt to cultural norms reeks of conformity with the mindset of this world, which the Apostle Paul warned us to avoid.
Corrections:

First, while I do believe that the Church has helped society perpetrate a social injustice, there is nothing inherently wrong with that, the primary mission of the Church is a salvific ministry, not a social ministry.

Secondly, I have said that I believe the ordination of women would be beneficial to the Church, not that it is required of the Church.

Finally, the only doctrinal/ecclesiological point that I have insisted upon is that, due to the lack of decrees to the contrary, it is entirely within the rights and authority of the local synod to ordain or not ordain women as they see fit and that nobody (save a superior synod and perhaps the Imperial Authority if it still existed) has the right to force their opinion, whatever it may be, on the said synod.
 

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Dear GiC,

I've also twice appealed to the dual nature of Christ to refute Arianism and Ebionism, and certainly did not seem to have any Nestorian ring to it.  No one I believe is splitting the natures, and I don't think Ephesus would have condemned anyone who interpreted 1 Cor. 11:3 in that manner.  In fact, what they or anyone else would have condemned is saying that that the "man Jesus" is below the Father, but the "Logos who indwelt the Son of Man" is equal to the Father and above the man.  What we are saying is that Christ through His humanity is "lower than the Father" and through His divinity is "greater than man, equal to the Father."  In many other places, you find St. Paul repeating this, that Christ did not find it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of low reputation and learned obedience, even unto the Cross.  And Christ said of Himself, "The Father is greater than I," all of which, I believe St. Cyril interpreted as, the humanity and divinity of Christ.  If St. Cyril would have interpreted 1 Cor. 11:3, he would have probably said the same as PetertheAleut or I did.

God bless.

Mina
 

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greekischristian said:
No, no...let's go with this one. ;)

Over at http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/prej_gen.asp Fr. John Wijngaards says that the failure to ordain women was culturally biased. And don't you dare attack Fr. John as an absolute and unquestionable authority on the matter...THAT would be an ad hominem. ;D
What about other cultures?  Let say Egypt ;D

This website seems to tell me that if we were to spread Christianity in Egypt, women's ordination may not have been much of a stumbling block to pagan conversions:

http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptianwomen.html

God bless.

Mina
 

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Theognosis said:
You seem to be an expert on the subject.  How about sharing with us--without resorting to logical fallacy--their views on the roles of women in RELIGION in the Roman Empire and how it supposedly influenced Christianity, particularly in the gender of the priesthood?
Ah, yes. So you can appeal to one professor's exegesis of a particular pericope in the Pauline epistles as infallible proof that you have established your point about pagan women and religion in general, but when I point out that this interpretation of his article may not, in fact, be the end-all-be-all (based on many primary sources and several top-rate scholars), I have resorted to "logical fallacy." Unfortunately, if you have not already read the relevant and well-known sources before making up your mind, I cannot summarize them on this forum today. I will try to do so in the next week, but I fear such would really just be a waste of my time, since certain people on this forum appear to prefer whatever evidence they can find on the issue that fits their existing argument, and, on the other hand, to label all evidence that does not conform to these pre-conceived ideas as "speculative."

[Addition: If we, as theologians or lay people, want to actually understand why the Church has never ordained women and be able to articulate these reasons in a cogent and comprehensive manner, then we need to make sure that our assumptions and desires conform to the available evidence. The point of this thread -- at least as I understand it -- is not to immediately silence discussion by means of textbook mantras and easy answers, but to delve deeply into the world of the early Church, so that we might better understand the nature of early Christian ordained ministry and the role of women in the Church.]

To move things toward more Christian sources, I have already started the discussion on Patristic views of women with specific references from St. John Chrysostom's many statements on the subject; but you, in response to my question about how you view these statements, said: 

I will not speculate as others do.  And neither will I re-interpret the words he wrote.
If you will not even pay heed to what the Fathers say, if you consider actually reading them "speculation," how can the discussion proceed?

I wonder, have members of this board actually read more than a dozen works of the early Fathers? My summary of Chrysostom's thoughts on Corinthians and women in general is obvious to anyone who has read any of his relevant homilies on Genesis or the Pauline corpus.

Why is reading the Fathers and quoting their frequent and straight-forward statements on the nature and role of women "speculative"?
 

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Theognosis said:
That's a red herring.  You can look it up in the dictionary.
You're not getting it. 

A) Pensateomnia did not attack the validity of the statement through his comment of the source, so his comment doesn't even fit the definition of ad hominem you provided.  In fact, he stated that he agreed with the position of the source, and he objected to your characterization of his position being in opposition to it as being ignorant of his true position that he expounded here in the thread.  His source criticism was, as GiC pointed out, only flying in the face of your "appeal to authority" and not to the validity of the argument.

B) I am not attacking your definition of ad hominem by discrediting the source, but rather stated that you invite any criticism of your sources in general when you appeal to one that has as many factual errors in general as Wiki does.  It's version of the ad hominem definition is fairly thorough and quite well-done; but it doesn't mean that it has been applied correctly in this case.
 
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