The medieval world, a time of chivalry, castles, and, unfortunately for women, a whole lot of theological and juridical head-scratching. In this era of quills and parchment, the minds of ecclesiastics and legal eagles alike seemed to be in a perpetual twist when it came to figuring out the role of women in society.
Let's dive into the holy waters first, where the theologians found themselves doing the medieval equivalent of acrobatics to reconcile conflicting beliefs. The Gospel texts preached equality like it was going out of style, declaring, “there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ.” Hooray for equality, right? But St. Paul, the ecclesiastical scriptwriter extraordinaire, flips the script when it comes to everyday life, suggesting that man is the image and glory of God, while woman is the glory of man. Talk about a divine gender hierarchy.