Mulher, este é o teu emblema da vergonha: quando a mulher é objeto mas não co-sujeito da jurisdição social e religiosa

Translated title of the contribution: Woman, it is thy badge of shame: when women are object to but not co-subject of social and religious jurisdiction

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Abstract

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850) exposes the existentially destructiveconsequences of a patriarchal society and a clerical Church in which women are expelled from the public space as a normative subject and recipient and accepted into it solely as subject to (and eventually as transgressor of) a normativity established exclusively by man. This inequality is, however, not only detrimental to the social condition of women, but also to the general self-understanding of society and men in particular, by depriving their ethical, legal and religious elaboration of the hermeneutic resources peculiar to the female experience (especially that of maternity). The judicial constellation of norm, transgression, condemnation and punishment, ideologically overlaps the religious interpretation of guilt from the Christian point of view, making the evangelical constellation of commandment, sin, conversion and forgiveness incomprehensible, as well as the difference between punishment and expiation. Only in the ‘maternal’ perspective oriented towards the future which is generated by love and the assumption of responsibility towards the humanly ‘given to light’, does the openness to the gratuitousness of God’s redemptive love, whose justice is force of salvation and not of perdition, arise. This difference in perspective has relevant consequences on family morality, particularly in relation to remarried divorcees. In the behavior of the priest co-protagonist of the novel, of public concealment of his own guilt and of irresponsibility towards the individuals involved in it (the former lover and his daughter), the patriarchal mechanism of ‘clerical exceptionalism’ that is still diffused within the Church and is the basis of the morally wrong and historically bankrupt management of the phenomenon of abuse of minors and vulnerable people is exposed.
Translated title of the contributionWoman, it is thy badge of shame: when women are object to but not co-subject of social and religious jurisdiction
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)351-390
Number of pages40
JournalPistis & Praxis
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021
EventI Colóquio Internacional “Hermenêuticas do feminino - Universidade Católica Portuguesa , Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 28 Jan 202029 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • The scarlet letter
  • Gender relations
  • Sexual guilt
  • Atonement and punishment

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