Thursday, 30 April 2015

Eirini Afentoulidou: Gendering the Baby in Byzantine Prayers on Child-Bed

The hitherto most authoritative edition of the Byzantine Euchologion made by Jacques Goar includes prayers on child-bed, ranging from prayers for the mother to prayers for the naming and the churching of the child. In these the child is sometimes referred to in the neuter "παιδίον" (little child) or "νήπιον" (infant), and sometimes in the gendered "δοῦλος τοῦ Θεοῦ" (God's male servant) - the universal masculine is used, although the instructions in the rubrics refer to male and female infants. This paper aims to explore the gendering as part of the integration of the child into the Byzantine Christian community.

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