Thursday, January 18, 2018

Secrets of Women and Living

This morning I researched two books written in Latin by Albertus Magnus c. 1193-1280.  Liber de muliere forti venerabilis domini and De secretis mulierum et vivorum.  In the first book Albertus Magnus praises valiant and strong women like the one described in Proverbs 31.  He discusses predestination and argues that more are bound by Scripture to be judged worthy of resurrection than to be rejected.  He answers questions about the dispensation of graces, concluding that valiant women will receive abundant graces, whether they are married or in the virginal state, both those who have children and those who are childless.  The second book outlines the facts of life for monks and celibate priests who lack the experience requisite for understanding “the secrets of women and life.”  By doing so, the author attempts to correct erroneous ideas about the defilement of menstruation and childbirth that led the celibate clergy to prohibit women from entering the sanctuary, and therefore from being ordained.  He cautions monks against being led astray by the wiles and charms of women, but says nothing to warn about the equally dangerous potential of women being led astray by the wiles and charms of men.  The image above is from the title page inside the book De secretis mulierum.