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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Differentiation

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Some people respond skeptically to these assertions [that all societies include some ways of expressing gender differences between men and women] because they have a vague notion that some societies have been “matriarchal”—that is, the governing authorities have been women. However, anthropologists unanimously dismiss matriarchy as a characteristic of any known society, present or past. As stated by Rosaldo, “The issues involved here are complex, but the evidence of contemporary anthropology gives scant support to an argument for matriarchy.” There are two main reasons for the persistent confusion about matriarchy. First, some primitive tribes have myths which tell of a time in their ancient past when women ruled. Anthropologists now generally regard these myths as justifications for some current aspect of the tribal life, such as male authority, and not as historically reliable tradition. Myths about Amazonian warrior women are also considered unhistorical by anthropologists. Secondly, anthropologists once used the term “matriarchy” to describe societies which are today called matrilineal or matrifocal. Matrilineal societies are those which trace lineage through the mother and not the father. Matrifocal societies are those in which the female role receives special attention and honor. Modern anthropologists no longer use the term “matriarchal” to describe these societies precisely because it implies that the women of the society actually govern the overall life of the group. In fact, men are the overall governing authorities in both matrilineal and matrifocal societies. Thus, the idea that matriarchal societies did or do exist is a popular misunderstanding, and a notion that modern anthropologists reject. (Stephen B. Clark, Man and Woman in Christ, 415)

Written by Scott Moonen

February 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Posted in History, Quotations

Susanna Wesley

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Recently I taught a church history lecture on the life of Susanna Wesley:


(Download.) I relied primarily on Wikipedia for my research on English church history, and on two books for my research on Susanna:

In his book, Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness, Eric Metaxas provides brief biographies of seven women in church history. He offers a very engaging and thoughtful history of the the lives of Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Sister Maria of Paris, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa.

The Methodist minister John Newton wrote Susanna Wesley and the Puritan Tradition in Methodism. He offers a well rounded biography of Susanna while at the same time advancing and supporting his thesis that Susanna contributed a strain of vibrant Puritanism to the founding of Methodism.

Written by Scott Moonen

November 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Posted in History, Parenting