The Patriarchal Nature Of Christianity Analysis

Christianity is the largest religion in the world, with the just over 30% of the population identifying as Christian (Johnson, 2005). This is a significant proportion of the world, and as such the ideologies and doctrines that Christians have can have a substantial effect on the world we live in. In this way, the patriarchal nature of Christianity is major influence to how men and women are seen and interact within one another today. This essay will address how patriarchal nature of Christianity is result of the society in which Christianity first developed in almost 2000 years ago, and how those patriarchal ideas have continued to today, including gender roles within the Holy Trinity, the way women are portrayed within the Bible, the roles …show more content…
As the bible evolved and was translated into different languages, changes were made to reflect the patriarchal social structures of the time. One such example is the story of the Phoebe, who in the original letters by Paul to the romans was described as “the prostasis and diakonos of the church at Cenchreae” (DeConick, 2011, p. 65), terms that were also used to describe the male leaders of the church. However later translations downgraded Phoebe’s role to that of servant and helper. (Carmody, 1982) As the Christian church became more institutionalized, the subordination of women was greater, and therefore it was seen as wrong for a woman in the bible to be seen as influential and significant. Another woman whose influence was removed from the bible was Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene was an important disciple of Jesus, who was referred to often by Jesus, and was present at several significant events of Jesus’s life. (Maisch, 1998). However even at the time that Mary Magdalene’s stories were being recorded in the gospels at least 40 years after the events they describe, concerns were already beginning to be raised about whether women should be allowed influence and prestige within the church (DeConick, 2011, p. 131), which meant that the original writers were already careful of how they described and depicted women. In order to reduce the influence of Mary Magdalene, …show more content…
Many Christian denominations such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church do not support or allow the ordination of women. The Anglican Church of England only allowed the ordination of women in 1992 (Sani & Reicher, 2000). Many Christians use the bible as reasoning for why women should not be ordained, for example 1 Corinthians 14:34 “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says” (The New International Version). Although some denominations of Christianity embrace women in roles of leadership, therefore interpreting the bible’s message on these points as antiquated and no longer relevant in the modern world, many other denominations take the Bible’s message on women as literal law, and as such prohibit women from occupying official roles within the church. The ordination of women can be seen as an important symbol of equality within Christianity, as if women are not allowed to occupy leadership roles within the church, it sends the message that Christianity believes women are inferior to men. This is a view which may not truly be suitable to hold on to from almost 2000 years ago to this modern day and

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