Author Topic: BEYOND THE BINARY: HYMNOGRAPHIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF ORTHODOX GENDER  (Read 320 times)

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Offline Gunnarr

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Offline Iconodule

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Re: BEYOND THE BINARY: HYMNOGRAPHIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF ORTHODOX GENDER
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 05:19:53 PM »
Public Orthodoxy puts out a lot of garbage. Occasionally something worthwhile appears there, but the content generally falls into the two categories of forgettable puff pieces and utter drivel.

But then I see an article like this, something so gloriously stupid, and then I see the mouth-foaming rants about "cultural Marxism" in response, and I conclude that Public Orthodoxy is a worthwhile venture.
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Online Luke

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Re: BEYOND THE BINARY: HYMNOGRAPHIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF ORTHODOX GENDER
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 05:29:04 PM »
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In these hymns, gender functions along traditional patriarchal lines as a means to make a saint’s holiness discernable to a temporally constrained ecclesiastical community.
what does it mean "discernable to a temporally constrained ecclesiastical community?"

Offline Rohzek

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Re: BEYOND THE BINARY: HYMNOGRAPHIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF ORTHODOX GENDER
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 07:57:28 PM »
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In these hymns, gender functions along traditional patriarchal lines as a means to make a saint’s holiness discernable to a temporally constrained ecclesiastical community.
what does it mean "discernable to a temporally constrained ecclesiastical community?"

It just means that the saints' holiness was conveyed in local terms for a specific community at a specific time.

In all honesty though, I don't quite see what is so bad about the article. Gender is handled differently for women depending on the text, etc. So take the martyrdom of Perpetua. She literally becomes a man and masculine in her dream to fight off the servants of Satan, a premonition-like allegory for what awaited her in the arena. Meanwhile, there are other texts that depict women as feminine, sometimes in a positive light and sometimes not. A lot of this really dates back to the Romans. The Latin word "virtus" has a dual connotation of manliness and virtue, hence why vir (man) is in the word. Does this all mean then that biological sex differences don't exist? No. But I don't see this article claiming that at all.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 07:58:03 PM by Rohzek »
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Offline CarolS

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Re: BEYOND THE BINARY: HYMNOGRAPHIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF ORTHODOX GENDER
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 08:03:37 PM »
I find some items in the article extremely objectionable.  The author states: "In many hymns, women are required to put off their “womanliness” to become manly to be holy, but the reverse does not apply to men."  This is ridiculous.  Many women martyrs are lauded for their "manly" courage and strength, but it's silly to say that this is a requirement for holiness.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: BEYOND THE BINARY: HYMNOGRAPHIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF ORTHODOX GENDER
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 12:07:49 PM »
scare quotes make their appearance early
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: BEYOND THE BINARY: HYMNOGRAPHIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF ORTHODOX GENDER
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 01:00:43 AM »
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This is evident in the dialogue hymns found in the Menaion commemorating major feasts, and hymns prescribed to be sung in a distinctly gendered voice irrespective of the singers’ sex (such as the hymn of Kassiani). Although the hymns rely on traditional gender categories that are in many ways challenging for values of equality and inclusivity, the tradition of praying Byzantine hymns reflects gender fluidity. Identities spanning feminine, masculine, maternal, sacerdotal, and divine/created bounds are prescribed to be prayed regardless of the participant’s embodied physical reality. With the unified voice of the Church at prayer, divinely participative gender identities are shaped among believers in a way that transcends binary and cisgender distinctions. In many instances, the hymn content simultaneously relies on gendered expectations and types to communicate holiness, and invites those singing the hymns to transition beyond their own gendered identities and specific experiences in spiritual praxis and praise.

Supposing I understand what she is trying to argue/reference, this seems to miss the mark, though the inclusion of categories like "maternal, sacerdotal" point more clearly to what is going on here. It's not that these things are meant to be on a continuum, or that this is meant to transcend differences between people. Rather it indicates a shared reality and experience; as St. Paul said, "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." (1 Cor. 12:26) The things transcended here are our otherwise mundane experience of life, and our normal relations with each other, and not specific distinctions between genders, clergy/laity, etc. In the context of worship one person can 'voice' the words or experiences of another not because the distinctives between the two people are erased, blurred or fluid, but rather because all involved belong to the same 'people of God.' We see this not only in the Church but also throughout the Old Testament, when the community of God was often required to collectively take responsibility for (or were collectively rewarded for) the actions of a small fraction of the people. This could even be done long after the people involved in an offense had passed away, and it was their later descendants who were now what constituted the continued community.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: BEYOND THE BINARY: HYMNOGRAPHIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF ORTHODOX GENDER
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 02:30:53 PM »
Thank you, Asteriktos.
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