Monday, 3 June 2013

A problem with Protestants (specifically) and women


Reflecting on my previous post...

and arguing from a background that patriarchy (male leadership) is necessary to long term stable or thriving institutions (patriarchy as the rule, but not ruling-out specific exceptions)...

it suddenly struck me that there is a problem mostly for Protestants and women - because when the inner ring is a leadership circle, and therefore all-male, then devout women have no special role or place.

So, the problem for Christians is to combine 1. patriarchy with 2. a 'mystery religion' - to enable distinct and a higher life of faith for both sexes, within a patriarchal context.


When monasticism is the ideal in the Catholic denominations (Eastern Orthodox, and as a sub-dominant but significant strand in Western Roman- and Anglo-Catholicism), then there is a place for especially devout women as nuns - indeed there have usually been more women in 'religious' orders and monasteries than men.

And Mormonism is a Temple religion, with the same access and status for devout women and men (via marriage and the family).

But in rejecting monasticism, Protestants removed a higher path open to women.

In theory, that is to say in Protestant theology, this does not matter to salvation and degree of sanctification - in practice, it probably does matter a lot to that minority of devout women who might in other denominations become nuns.


The answer would, I suppose, be Protestant nuns (and monks)

although that might prove difficult/ impossible to square with the foundational anti-clericalism of the Reformation as it survives in some of the Protestant denominations.