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Publication Details

Woman and Family in Medieval Philosophy

(Original title: La femme et la famille dans la philosophie médiévale)
Filozofia, 68 (2013), Supplementary Issue 2: L’Individu et la famille, 47-53.
Type of work: Papers
Publication language: French

The paper deals with the problematic views of the Middle Ages theology and philosophy on women and the institution of marriage. The Middle Ages society gives the women some rights and privileges which make them free. It is mostly the family that offers to all women the place where they can profit from their nature of being a woman. Only in the family they can find their legal place where to develop themselves. Thomas Aquinas adopts the biological theory of Aristotle and his understanding of woman’s nature. He, however, changes this view on women in accordance with the biblical doctrine. Thus the woman is not only a weak being, not able to reach the level of perfection of men, but also a creature desired by God. The medieval theologian Iohannes Iambor Roznawiensis uses the ideas of Thomas Aquinas and the Church Fathers, who understand the woman always as an instrument of devil. The marriage is the only legal form for them to enter into contacts with women as these theologians denied very other pact with the female sex. Even the act of procreation of a new life is refused by the Church in the name of accelerating the return of the Kingdom of God. Augustine’s view on the marriage is not so strict. He allows the union of man and woman because of the triple good of marriage.


Ages, Augustine, Family, Iohannes Iambor Roznawiensis, Middle, Philosophy, Theology, Thomas Aquinas, Women