This thesis establishes a link between conceptions of female virtue and the practice of veiling by women from ancient to medieval times in the Mediterranean region. This is evidenced by the consistent advocacy and prescription of veiling in ancient and medieval theological texts, including Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, and Islamic texts. Veiling practices are shown to have a religious foundation, grounded in the ideas of honor and virtue. These notions were reflected in society over time with veiled aristocratic noblewomen and unveiled marginalized classes. While acknowledging class-based theories of female veiling, the thesis concentrates on the religious factors for veiling, particularly for medieval Muslim societies. The argument of this thesis is that while veiling did not originate in Islamic societies, Muslims validated the practice through their own literature and laws. The paper also includes evidence of female seclusion, which co-exists with the spread in the practice of veiling by women.
|Commitee:||Karim, Persis, PIckering, Mary|
|School:||San Jose State University|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 52/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religious history, Womens studies, Ancient history|
|Keywords:||Abbasid, Veiling of women, Virtue|
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