Kenneth M Mick-Evans
Normierte Form: [Mick-Evans, Kenneth M ]
A Bastion of Feminine Equality? Women's Roles in the Waldensian Movement

Normierte Form:

May 2014
62 p
Waldensische Frauen - 1100-1500
Waldensische Frauen - Predigt - 1174-1500


The medieval Christian sect known as the Waldensians emerged in the late twelfth-century in Southern France from the teachings of a former merchant named Waldo. Emphasizing clerical poverty and Scripture translation into the vernacular, the Waldensians did not seek to oppose the Roman Catholic Church and did not hold any majorly heretical doctrines. However, the Church ultimately deemed them heretics as they believed everyone, including laypersons, should preach, even without permission from the Church. This commitment to preaching meant that the Waldensians believed women should preach the same as men. Despite the controversies Waldensian gender roles generated in the Middle Ages, comparatively little in the way of scholarship exists in this area. Many scholars consider Waldensian society, at least in the beginning, more egalitarian than the rest of Europe. They hold that the movement?s early days offered women equality with men, though this equality declined over the next few centuries. A few scholars counter these scholars exaggerate the case, and that gender roles among the Waldensian religious offices did not differ that greatly from the rest of society. By piecing together the accounts recorded in extant documents and sifting through various the historical interpretations of this material, a basic picture emerges. The Waldensians did allow women to preach, and did, at least during their early period, afford them greater rights, but under the auspices of male leadership, and thus, while the Waldensians did afford women higher status, this higher status was not the same thing as equality.