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Eschatological time as women’s time? Gendered temporality and female holiness in Early Christianity and Byzantium

Descripción del proyecto

Investigación sobre la desaparición de las santas

¿Por qué las santas fueron desapareciendo progresivamente durante la época del Imperio bizantino? Para responder a esta incógnita, el proyecto GenTime, financiado con fondos europeos, investigará el vínculo entre el tiempo y la construcción de lo femenino en los discursos hagiográficos de la Antigüedad tardía y la época bizantina. El proyecto revisará esto contra las expectativas escatológicas que formaron los primeros ideales cristianos de la santidad femenina y analizará las historias sobre santas elaboradas entre los siglos II y XIII. Además, el proyecto hará hincapié en la persistencia de las estrategias utilizadas para controlar a las mujeres dentro de los órdenes sociales patriarcales. Los resultados sensibilizarán sobre cómo los discursos de género de la época se han utilizado históricamente para fomentar estilos de vida que tienen más que ver con las luchas de poder entre grupos sociales rivales.

Objetivo

This proposal investigates the nexus between time and the construction of the feminine in Late Antique and Byzantine hagiographical discourses. By looking both at ways time is experienced through the body and construed by society and religion, GenTime engages with a highly debated problem in Byzantine studies: why did female saints progressively disappear over the Byzantine millennium? GenTime argues that this trajectory has to be understood against the eschatological expectations shaping early Christian ideals of female holiness. In the 2nd and 3rd century the impending end of times subsumed any other temporality and led to the subversion of traditionally construed “women’s time”. Once the Roman Empire became Christian, the eschatological horizon was reinforced in Byzantium by the widespread circulation of apocalyptic motives, adopted by the Imperial power for political and moral purposes. Eschatologically-motivated narrative patterns about women saints became entrenched and their ongoing success made it hard to accommodate new experiences of holiness when other models of lay temporality eventually emerged during the Middle Byzantine era. GenTime looks at stories about women saints produced between the 2nd and the 13th century CE by adopting a longue durée perspective and using narratology to analyze how patterns of temporalities are inscribed in the text. It builds on feminist phenomenology to highlight the persistence of strategies used to control women’s time within patriarchal social orders. GenTime works with medieval sources and it reflects on the dialectics between integration/assimilation, minority/majority cultures, gender/societal values, all of them of major concern in modern societies. In doing so, it raises awareness about the ways gendered discourses of time have historically been used to promote lifestyles that, ultimately, have less to do with women’s empowerment and more with power struggles between competing social groups.

Coordinador

SYDDANSK UNIVERSITET
Aportación neta de la UEn
€ 207 312,00
Dirección
CAMPUSVEJ 55
5230 Odense M
Dinamarca

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Región
Danmark Syddanmark Fyn
Tipo de actividad
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Enlaces
Coste total
€ 207 312,00