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.
 

Theognosis

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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.
 

montalban

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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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