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Document Details :
Title: The Topos of Female Hiddenness
Subtitle: A Contextual Reading of 1 Tim 2,9-15
Author(s): ZAMFIR, Korinna
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 88 Issue: 4 Date: 2012
In spite of the apparent lack of coherence, 1 Tim 2,9-15 is held together by a number of connecting themes. One of these is the topos of female inconspicuousness, implicit in three aspects of the exhortation. First, the restrictions on beautification express an ancient moral-philosophical topos: women are to avoid ostentatious adornment that would attract men’s gaze, remaining thereby inconspicuous. Second, the virtues that women should embrace instead – modesty, temperance/chastity –, intimately connected to the restrictions imposed on adornment here and in numerous ancient sources, effect women’s inconspicuousness, and aim to keep women in the private sphere. Third, silence is frequently associated with the hiddenness of the body: just as an entirely covering dress hides her body, so silence conceals her thoughts, her wishes, her personality. In this paper I look at these exhortations, focusing on the topos of female hiddenness in ancient authors.