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By Rosemary Radford Ruether

Well known theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether analyzes the methods the Christian church has traditionally interacted with robust social structures reminiscent of patriarchy, racism, slavery, and environmentalism, whereas having a look significantly at how the church shapes those platforms this day. With a spotlight at the usa, Christianity and Social structures presents an introductory research of the interactions among the church buildings and significant structures that experience formed western Christian and post-Christian society.

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The weapons of hunting are reshaped into the weapons of war to attack and to defend settled areas. 13 Legal codes are written that canonize this system of hierarchical ordering of wealth and power, and organized religion validates this order by seeing it as handed down by the gods. 14 Elites ruling through city centers reach out to form alliances with other city centers and then to seek to subdue many cities in empires ruled from one dominant city. Gender hierarchy is integrated into this developing class hierarchy with women as secondary members of each class.

The fetus of a seignor’s daughter is worth ten shekels, of a commoner five shekels, and of a seignor’s female slave two shekels. The life of the first daughter is invaluable. It can be paid only by killing the other seignor’s daughter. The life of the commoner’s daughter is worth half a mina of silver and the slave one-third a mina of silver. Patriarchy as a Social System 31 As the patriarchal system develops, the females of the male ruling class increasingly lose public roles as producers or managers of goods and property and become secluded within privatized space within home, even as that home may have expanded into a palace complex.

Thus, seclusion of women is applied to those women who can be valued solely as ornaments and as means of sexual pleasure and reproduction, not as workers. These women become heavily veiled or carried in curtained vehicles when they do venture out in public. 20 THE ROMAN FAMILY The focus of this chapter now turns to the patrician Roman family as an exemplar of classical patriarchy and one that has been key in the development of Western law. 21 In Roman law, familia referred to all the persons and things under the potestas, or sovereign power, of the male head, or paterfamilias.

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