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Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638$
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David George Mullan

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198269978.001.0001

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The Ambiguity of the Feminine

The Ambiguity of the Feminine

Chapter:
(p.140) 5 The Ambiguity of the Feminine
Source:
Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638
Author(s):

David George Mullan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198269978.003.0006

While Puritan divinity hewed closely to contemporary limitations on women's public roles, its promoters took seriously the spiritual needs of female parishioners and incorporated the feminine into their discourse. Marriage, if not theoretically between absolute equals, was based upon mutual affection, and it is clear that ministers were emotionally bound to their beloved spouses and took ‘godly’ women seriously as advisers. But women, while the weaker sex, retained the power to subvert the stronger sex, and so must behave modestly. Men who beat their wives behaved badly and were liable to censure. Women did take part in religious life in the home and were frequent participants when religion controversy went into the streets.

Keywords:   affection, family, marriage, women in religion

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