Augustinus många kvinnor: Bibliska och historiska kvinnor i Augustinus skrifter om jungfrulighet och äktenskap


  • Annamaria Laviola-Svensäter Lunds universitet


The following article discusses the role different women play in shaping Augustine’s theological thoughts on marriage and virginity. It argues that Augustine developed different definitions of Christian marriage, holy virginity and consecrated widowhood through ongoing contacts with contemporary women such as Proba, Juliana and Demetrias. Furthermore, biblical women as, for example, Ruth, the prophetess Hanna and the two sisters Martha and Mary played an important role in creating a positive image of married, unmarried and widowed women. At the same time, however, Augustine used these biblical protagonists and their stories as a way of reinforcing the higher status of virginity in comparison to marriage. Finally, Augustine’s definitions of virginity and marriage were also part of greater theological controversies, such as the Jovinianist and the Pelagian one.