• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Christianity and Mothers

  • By: Gail Murphy-Geiss
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Christianity has always held a largely positive view of motherhood, although not uncomplicated. Biblical mothers play mostly supporting roles, and are remembered more in relation to other, more central characters of the stories in which they appear. Theologically, because motherhood involves procreation and therefore sex, it has been associated with sin and impurity as well as blessing and life.

Historically, although mostly a private enterprise, Christian motherhood has also been active in highly public political movements, such as temperance and more recently, issues related to family values, such as abortion and gay marriage. Because Christianity is so diverse across cultures and denominations, teachings about motherhood vary. Most well known are two classic debates: one between Roman Catholics and others regarding the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles