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A Critique of Margaret Kings Women of the Renaissance The book Women of the Renaissance by Margaret King deals specifically with the roles and lives of women in Renaissance culture Her focus lies entirely on those women who lived between the years 1350 and 1650 in Western Europe as well as England It is a period in which Europe is bustling with economic social and intellectual activities Due to far-reaching innovations such as the printing press and new methods of teaching literacy spread to sectors of society that did not have previous access to education Because of this raised level of literacy the Church began to lose its control over education and scientific knowledge This liberalization allowed scholars to study the literary and philosophical works of the ancient Latin and Greek civilizations These new conditions gave rise to humanism an intellectual movements that brought about a cultural renewal resulting in the advancement of arts sciences and architecture throughout Europe Despite the progress made by Renaissance artists and thinkers women still played a traditional role in society Professor King defines this role as that of the child-bearer and caretaker under the strict control of the family patriarch Although slight differences existed between the classes this was the general rule According to King the beliefs that fueled this attitude were no just the product of contemporary thinking Their origins extend as far back as biblical times and are further developed in Early Christianity At the root of this belief Professor King identifies womens role and motherhood in general with the presence of Mary the mother of God in the Catholic religion It is she who receives the child Christ from God gives birth to him and care for him until his death she is even present at his resurrection But though humbly she gave birth and dutifully tended the child he grew however in his Fathers image and not hers p1 At the other
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