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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

April 8th, 2004

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09:32 am - Virginity
Interesting. Virginity has a number of definitions, but the one that intrigued me most was this:

3. An unmarried woman who has taken religious vows of chastity.

In other words, women can become virgins again through religious vows.

How do you like them apples?
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Date:April 8th, 2004 10:43 am (UTC)


Back in the day when women became nuns they took vows to the church, and wore rings, as if they were symbolically "married" to the church. Keep in mind that at the time marriage was not only a religious institution but also a political contract. Therefor becoming a nun and marrying the church was a bit like signing a contract to serve the church. A woman didn't have to be a virgin to become a nun, she only had to be unmarried, completly able to comit herself to the service of the church.
I'd imagine that the practice of using marriage as a politically binding contract is part of the reason why virginity, and chastity attained such religious importance.
Now a days the only real enduring virtue of virginity seems to be the ideal of virgins being innocent.
But back in the day when marrying your daughter or son was a way to seal a deal, it was important that they be certain that no illigitamate children, or relationships would have influence on the marriage.

Also, I don't think (and I highly doubt) that Elizabeth was really a virgin. she adopted the title "the virgin queen" for political reasons.

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