Jesters, Jongleurs, Clowns and other Unsavoury Types

Chelsea Vargo
2017 Axis Mundi  
This essay will explore the role of the repentant woman in Benedicta Ward's Harlots of the Desert. Ward's argument asserts that both men and women in the early centuries of Christianity had to undertake the task of overcoming their gender in order to become holy men and women, in either a monastic setting or as a desert dwelling hermit. I will argue that the task of overcoming gender in order to be in closer proximity to holiness in the early centuries of the church was a more difficult task
more » ... e difficult task for women than for men. This is because women had to first become like men, and then genderless, whereas men had simply to overcome one gender role. This paper will explore the evidence for such a claim by examining the textual evidence of early hagiographies present in Ward's book.
doi:10.29173/axismundi84 fatcat:4ywvjfodanfj3nkgbjwtbcqzmy