Women’s role in society was one of subjugation and passivity, ad marriage was viewed by the Catholic Church as having the sole purpose of procreation and the subordination of the wife. Te Protestant Reformation which started in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century in Europe challenged these realities, ad for the first time marriage was institutionalized to become the pillar of society. Wmen’s creative power was the driving force behind the institution of marriage (Ozment 5-20). I is in the context of these major social and cultural transformations Ozment makes his observations on the role of women and marriage in Germany and Switzerland.
I this study, Oment describes the Protestant marriage as opposite to the Catholic perception of marriage. H reveals that in the beginning of the Reformation, mrriage was seen by Protestants and their supporters as a remedy for broken social and domestic relations: Potestants were faced with what they considered to be crisis of domestic relations, oe that could be traced to the institutions of medieval religion […] To correct the situation, tey (Protestants) exalted patriarchical nuclear family, a the liberation of men, wmen and children, fom religious, sxual and vocational bondage (Ozment 5-6)In this sense Ozment presents a very comprehensive view of marriage during the Reformation, nt only as a stabilizer, bt also as a liberator from the unnecessary and evasive religious conservatism of the Catholic Church.
Oment has captured the essence of marriage, a viewed at the early stages of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, ad he explores it as a religious, a well as social antidote to hypocritical preaching of Catholicism celibacy and penance.
A the time Catholic marriage was viewed as a tool for social and individual subjugation of women, ad the Catholic Church denied the authenticity of any emotional attachment between the spouses as a legitimate base for marriage (5-30). Cntrary to the medieval clerical transition, wich viewed marriage as degrading and humiliating to women, Oment presents the Protestant marriage as a utopian unit, bsed on love and trust among the family members. Aother interesting aspect of marriage which Ozment reveals is its transformative power over society. H that Protestant marriage abolished the divisions between public and private (5-9).
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