The article shows that the processes of cardinal change of the role and place of women in the social, political and economic life over the last two centuries are by no means accidental. They are foretold in the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran considered by the Koran to be the three messages to mankind from the Entity which at a certain historical stage presented itself to mankind as the sole and true God. This Entity created the Universe and made our planet habitable for the people created in His “image and likeness.” This Entity, according to the Scriptures, charted the strategic course of the development of humans and predetermined the role and mission of women in the process of historical development. Having fulfilled their mission of breeding on our planet a certain mental-biological type of people, women over time inevitably transform themselves, like men, into basically new genderless beings (entities). This new type of genderless people, having achieved the maximum level of development possible on earth may, according to the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran, pass over to “eternal life in heaven” becoming similar to their Creator. In the author’s opinion, the emancipation of women is but one manifestation of the general strategy of the development of mankind anticipated by such eternal “information sources” as the Holy Scriptures.
Keywords: Holy Scripturespaganismmonotheismwomen’s emancipation
Today there are hardly any areas of socially useful activity in which women’s intellect, skills and proficiencies are not used. During the lifetime of three or four generations the role and place of women in family and society have changed dramatically. Are these changes preordained or accidental from the viewpoint of the Holy Scriptures of monotheism such as the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran? This is by no means an idle question because, first, for millennia the authority of these Scriptures was sought by the clergy and government members and the whole male part of humanity; second, because many modern women believe that over the years increasingly infantile men have put on their fragile and delicate shoulders the daunting tasks of “purely male jobs, concerns and problems.” (Tragic Aspects of the Woman’s Emancipation, n.d.). Just a couple of centuries ago (in January of 1821) Byron reflecting on the position of women in Ancient Greece, described it as fairly convenient compared to their position in Byron’s time which he described as artificial and a survival of the barbarism of chivalry and feudalism. They should keep house, they should be fed and clothed well, but they should not be allowed to circulate in society. They should have access to religious education, but not to poetic or political books, only religious and culinary ones; music – drawing –dancing, perhaps some work in the garden or in the field. In Epirus, he reports, he saw women doing some good road-mending work. Why not also mowing grass or working in a cowshed?, Byron, 1986, mused (p.381).
Barely two hundred years after the great poet wrote these words the conventional wisdom is that there will be no purely male or female professions.” (There …, 2018).
Indeed, it is hard to find a sphere in the modern world where women are not employed. And this is taken for granted. (Women go into Business to Be Independent of Men, 2018; Investigation…, 2017; Realization of reproductive function of the family, n.d..; Trending: “World Business …, n.d.)
Without discussing the current views and positions, let it be said that we have found a clear and well-grounded answer to the reason for women’s emancipation not in the works of outstanding thinkers, statesmen and public figures of the past and present times, but in the texts of the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran which the Koran considers to be the three messages to humanity of the Entity which presented itself to man as God the Creator of all the “visible and invisible” worlds. (The Bible, 1995; The Koran, 2008; The Torah, 1993).
It is not by chance that we turned to the texts of the Holy Scriptures to gain an insight into the issues of women’s emancipation. We have done so, first, because for millennia they have determined the world perception and the daily life of people. Even today they exert considerable influence on the world of human values, and the norms and rules of human behavior.
People lived according to religious precepts, as shown in many of my works, until the epochs of Renaissance, Enlightenment and Reformation in Europe. Gradually, religion began to leave the historical stage in other countries and on other continents as well. A considerable part of ethnoses and peoples are still going through this painful process of change of civilizational mentality provoking not only extremism, but also acts of terror and wars similar to those that took place when paganism (polytheism) was being replaced by monotheism (Oganesyan, 2017; Oganesyan, 2018).
Second, the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran show clearly and non-controversially the strategic direction of human development which, as will be shown below, stems from the innate mental and intellectual nature of man.
Third, the information set forth in the Scriptures about man’s mentality and its fundamental difference from that of other living creatures on our planet, and the distinct stages in the development of people’s mentality is fully confirmed by various fields of modern scientific knowledge. In particular, the Scriptures identify the times of “ignorance” (paganism), the time of the true One God (monotheism), and finally, the time when man will be able to regulate the norms and rules of his existence independently. In our terminology, it is the time of “scientific perception of the world.” Each of the mental epochs (paganism and monotheism) identified in the Scriptures laid down concrete norms and rules of life which clearly defined the woman’s place in the family, gens and tribe.
Before passing on to the research questions let us define the key terms and concepts that are crucial for our topic.
By Holy Scriptures we mean the texts of such monotheistic scriptures as the Torah, the New Testament, and the Koran which form the spiritual foundation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (The Bible, 1995; The Koran, 2008; The Torah, 1993)
The term “emancipation” means liberation (release) from various dependencies, including political, social and economic dependency of women on the will and wishes of men.
If we trace the positions of women in the civilized pagan era, including Ancient Greece, commented on by Lord Byron, although it allowed much more freedom than in many other pagan countries, it did not go beyond the framework of normal (pagan) tribal law. Women were not allowed to hold government positions and kinship was determined strictly on the paternal line. The dead ancestors on the paternal side only were worshipped as gods who resided in the Nether world from where they protected their descendants living on earth (Ancient Greece. Women and Family, n.d.; Legal Status of Women in Ancient Rome, n.d.)
An unmarried woman had to obey her father and in the event of his death, her brother (no matter whether he was older or younger than she). In the absence of a father or brother the woman had to obey her guardian appointed either in the father’s will or by government officials. The bridegroom was selected by the daughter’s parents. The most desirable bridegrooms were those the father knew well (Ancient Greece. Women and Family, n.d.).
Unlike in many other pagan countries, in Ancient Greece, and later in Ancient Rome, women were educated in specialized fields. They were not only taught reading and writing, but also specific feminine “sciences:” house-keeping, weaving and spinning. They were also taught dancing and the basics of medicine (Ancient Greece. Women and Family, n.d.).
In the era of monotheism (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) the place of women was more elevated than during paganism, but there was still no question of any “freedom and independence,” including from men. Their position was determined strictly by the commandments, laws and orders set by the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran.
It has to be noted that in the Torah ”man” is used both in the sense of “male human being” and of “human being” in general, to refer to man and woman in their inseparable unity (Bereishit 5, Bereishit, 1-2) (The Torah, 1993) .
The norms and rules bequeathed by the One God were binding on all people irrespective of gender, social status, age, wealth and other differences. Although the Torah demanded respect for father and mother, it traced the ancestry by generations of the sons of Israel (males); second, it indicated that God endowed women with prophetic powers, for example, Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron (Shemot 15 Beshallah, 20), (The Torah, 1993). Moreover, the One God chose Deborah (the wife of Lappidoth) as prophetess and judge of the whole people of Israel (Judges, 4:4) (The Bible, 1995). After the sons of Israel conquered “the promised land” the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance among the sons” (Joshua, 17:6) (The Bible, 1995) .
The next mental stage in the development of the human race envisaged by the Holy Scriptures is marked by the scientific perception of the world and independent control of its being by “reason” with which Man has been endowed by the Creator.
This stage differs from the two other religious stages in a fundamental way, above all because humans, first, have come to be guided by the capacity of their reason in their cognitive and other activities, including world view, intellectual-ideological and law-making activities. Second, anthropocentrism and its ideals of humanism became predominant. The basis for regulating people’s being and development as beings created “in the image and likeness” of the Most High God is the human reason and not the norms and rules given in the Holy Scriptures, “the fear of God” as “the treasure of man’s soul” and the position of “man as God’s slave.”
It is beginning from the epochs of the Renaissance, Enlightenment and Reformation that a critical attitude arises to everything connected with the Holy Scriptures and the principles of life they preach, including the attitude to the place and role of women in the socio-economic processes in society.
All the more so since, as will be shown below, the Scriptures, thousands of years before the modern emancipation of women, foretold in the most unambiguous way the transition of mankind to a life according to its own reason and a totally new role and place of women in the present day. (Oganesyan, 2017; Oganesyan, 2018).
To become convinced of this, let us turn to the Scriptures. Let us begin with the Torah which announces that man has been created not only “in the image and likeness” of the One God, but, especially important, of all the creatures on earth he chose only man to “breathe the breath of life in his nostrils: ”The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Bereishit 2, Bereishit 7) (The Torah, 1993).
Thus, the Torah says very clearly that man became “a living soul,” that is, became active only after the Lord gave him the life of His Own “breath of life,” therefore only man among all the living creatures on earth has “the breath of life” like the Lord Himself.
Jesus Chris confirms the words of the Torah concerning the special (God-like) mental nature of man through the mouth of King David: “You are gods; you are all children of the Most High, all of you.” (Psalm 81:6) (The Bible, 1995). Jesus tells people that they are not only “God’s children” but will themselves in time become “gods” like the Father in Heaven with all the consequences that entails for their life and further development. (John, 10:32-37) (The Bible, 1995).
Moreover, Jesus conveys something extremely important for people’s understanding of their mental and intellectual nature, namely, that Jesus Himself, the One God and the people who have come to believe in Him as Christ are not only a single mental-intellectual system, but in their activities (by “their deeds,” according to St.Paul) are like God.
To use modern terminology, we can say that Jesus, the One God and humanity are elements of a coherent mentally and functionally interconnected system. This idea informs Jesus’ prayer to God, when the Messiah asks Him to love and glorify His pupils and all those who come to believe the teaching they preach: “I pray that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you,,, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity” (John, 17: 9, 10; 16 – 23) (The Bible, 1995).
The above words of Jesus leave no shadow of a doubt that man possesses the nature possessed by Jesus Christ and by the Father in Heaven.
Finally, let us pay attention to the “mystery” that had been hidden from people, but which Jesus after His ascension instructed St.Paul to reveal: Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
(1Cor.15:45-54). (The Bible, 1995)
Thus, according to St.Paul, man is destined to cover the path from a “man of dust and mortal to imperishable and immortal “spirit of heaven”, i.e. a being similar to its Creator.
This explains the words of Jesus to the effect that he no longer calls the followers of His faith “God’s slaves,” but calls them His friends, hence the friends of the Father in Heaven (the One God) (John, 15:15) (The Bible, 1995)
And finally, the fundamental differences of man from all the living things on our planet and his special path of development are shown with the utmost clarity in the general epistle of St.John. Jesus’ apostle writes that the Father in Heaven showed such great love of people as to call them His children. It is only to mature mankind that, according to St.John, the Most High will at the proper time reveal the way people must follow before they see their Creator: “Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we... (1John. 3:2). (The Bible, 1995)
Add to this Jesus’ words that “God is spirit” (John,4:24) (The Bible, 1995), and we can safely say that people will exist in heaven as “spirits”, i.e. invisible and not lending themselves to the senses of the earth people (entities). In other words, they will exist in states (dimensions) that will differ fundamentally from the earthly states of existence of people.
In other words, the earth humankind will have to transform itself so much as to be able to “see” God only after it assumes “heavenly image,” to use the words of St.Paul. As can readily be seen, people will only be able to attain such a state by using their intellectual-mental (God-like) abilities, qualities and opportunities. For they were ordained by the Creator from the “beginning, as the Scriptures have it, to become ”gods” (The Bible, 1995; The Torah, 1993). Incidentally, a person today has no problem putting oneself “into a virtual state” thanks to the invention of television, Skype and other electronic means of recording and transmitting not only color moving images, but also sound. The technical breakthroughs mankind will make in the future are beyond conjecture.
The Koran does not depart from the ideas described in the Torah and the New Testament to the effect that man got his breath of life from the Most High Who breathed his Spirit into man, gave him “sight, hearing and heart.” (Surah 34: 6- 9) (The Koran, 2008). The Koran does not merely convey the words of the Almighty God to the effect that it was He who breathed life into man, but reports that the One God (Allah in Arabic) made the angels fall down in prostration before man (Surah 15:28,29) (The Koran, 2008).
Just like the Torah and the New Testament, the Koran maintains that the woman was created from Adam’s side (Surah 30:21) (Oganesyan, 2017). God created a “handmaid” for Adam (Eve) from himself not finding a matching creature on earth—this is a topic for a separate discussion (Torah, Breishit 2 Breishit, 20-22) (The Torah, 1993).
Moreover, the Koran does not merely say that God Himself told Adam the names of all that is, but forced all the angels to fall in prostration before man (Surah 2: 31-33) (The Koran, 2008). And who but a God-like creature can be omniscient and whom should all that exists worship but God?
The Koran confirms that the time will come when people would move from the earth (our planet) to a new place (extraterrestrial world) where God Himself and all his heavenly warriors abide. (Surahs 14:48; 78: 18-24, 31-40) (The Koran, 2008)
Muhammed also confirms the words of Jesus Christ conveyed by John the Baptist, that there would be “a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth would pass away,” and that these events would happen on Doomsday when people would at last be able to see the Face of their Creator (Surahs 14:48; 78: 18-24, 31-40) (The Koran, 2008)
Besides, the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran say in unison that the flora and fauna on Earth were created to meet man’s needs and have been put in Man’s service. They also say that after a certain historical period when mankind reaches a certain intellectual-mental level, our planet would cease to be the abode of man. Then will people see “a new heaven and a new earth because the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea” (Rev.21:1). The Koran confirms the words of the Bible to the effect that our planet would turn “into a barren plain” (Surah 18:8) and that “the earth will be replaced by another earth and a new heaven” (Surah 14:48) (The Koran, 2008).
As for the place of the woman in “heaven” one cannot help noting the words of Jesus Christ to the effect that in the extra-terrestrial world, after becoming immortal, there is no marriage and people live “like God’s angels in heaven” without gender differences. (Matthew, 22:30) (Vernadsky’s Noosphere, n.d.)
The Koran answers the question about the “marital status” of the heavenly creatures by asking this rhetorical question about the “marital status” of the Most High: “How could he have a son when he does not have a companion and He created all things?” (Surah 6:101) (The Koran, 2008)
And indeed, although the Koran in describing Paradise says that righteous men there, among other pleasures, will be welcomed by “full-breasted companions of equal age” (Surah 78:31-33) (Oganesyan, 2017), there is no mention in the Koran of the existence of family, wives, children and kinsfolk (fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, etc.). Two important statements in the Koran about Paradise should be recalled in this connection. First, the Koran makes it very clear that the Most High God presents Paradise only as “a parable.” (Surah 47:15) (The Koran, 2008).
And second, Muhammad is told that he possesses the word which should enter the souls of pagans so that they accept monotheism without hesitation (Surah 4:6-63) (The Koran, 2008). Let us recall that the Almighty presented the land promised to the sons of Israel as a place flowing “with milk and honey.” (The Torah, Dvarim Tavo, 9) (The Torah, 1993).
Purpose of the Study
The aim of the study is to show the logical nature of the emancipation of women from the viewpoint of strategic development of mankind envisaged by the Holy Scriptures of monotheism. This aim, in turn, highlights the fact that the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran do not provide mystical information, but are first, rigidly pragmatic, taking into account the level of mental development of the people to whom they are addressed. Secondly, it is the Scriptures that reveal the future of the development of humans on earth and their inevitable transition to other forms of existence (including extra-terrestrial existence).
This work uses traditional methods of humanities research, in particular, analysis and generalization of data, opinions and positions set forth in specialized literature. The texts of the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran came in for particularly scrupulous comparative analysis with the focus on the topic of the study
Thus, the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran are one in saying not only that man received “the breath of life” directly from the “breath” of the Creator, i.e. the capacity to act as the Creator, but also that people would only be able to see God when they move to live in heaven, that is, on Doomsday. Only God and nobody else, knows the hour of “transfiguration” of people, according to the New Testament and the Koran. It is not known to the prophets, including Jesus Christ, nor to the heavenly angels (Matthew 24:36; Mark 1313:32; Surahs 7:187; 79:42). (The Bible, 1995, The Koran, 2008)
But first people have to traverse here on earth a path of intellectual-mental development with all its “hardship, cares, suffering and torment” the Lord God spoke about when expelling Adam and Eve from Paradise. (the Torah, Bereishit 3 Bereishit, 22-24) (The Koran, 2008)
Is there confirmation of what the Scriptures say about mankind having to traverse the path of intellectual-mental development with all the consequences that entails for its earthly life?
In my opinion, an entirely convincing answer to that question has been provided by our outstanding compatriot Vladimir Vernadsky who wrote: “Thus, the whole humankind represents an infinitesimally small part of the planet’s substance. Its power derives not from his matter, but from his brain. A great future is opening up before Man in the geological history of the biosphere. …The noosphere is a new geological phenomenon on our planet. In it man for the first time becomes the biggest geological force. Man can and must by his labor and thought restructure his area of life, restructure it radically compared to what was before. Ever wider opportunities are opening up before him. … The future holds for us as possibilities, fabulous dreams: man seeks to go beyond the confines of his planet into outer space. And he probably will.” (Vernadsky’s Noosphere, n.d.)
Vernadsky completed the work from which this quotation is drawn in late 1943. Fourteen years later the first artificial Earth satellite was launched and four years later the first earth man went into outer space. It is hard to enumerate all the modern achievements of human reason in scientific study of the world and the technological achievements that seemed fantastic only a hundred years ago. Beginning, for example, from the achievements in the field of electronics, chemistry, biology, medicine and ending with methods and forms of human reproduction. The last several years have seen the emergence of such notions as surrogate mother, biological mother, legal mother, donor father. Behind each of these neologisms are great achievements of human reason, whatever our contemporaries may think about these phenomena and whatever reasons they advance to justify forced reproduction methods.
One need hardly go to any length to prove that society dominated by intellectual and not physical labor dramatically changes the place of women in society with all the consequences that entails for their lives, including family relations.
Therefore it is not by chance that first the industrial and then the scientific-technical revolutions, and then unstoppable scientific-technical progress cardinally changed the role and place of women in the social processes. Only two centuries ago such professions as doctor, teacher, lawyer, judge, scientist, not so speak of military and police service, were closed to women and were inconceivable. Indeed, they drew a negative reaction not only from the male but also from the female part of the population. While until recently a woman in the sphere of social production could count only on low-skilled and low-paid jobs, the situation changed dramatically with the rise of their education level. An overwhelming majority of women in the countries with a high level of scientific, technological and social development become full-fledged members of social production with all the consequences that entails. These consequences include the changing relationships with the male part of the population and with members of their families. Naturally, the ongoing changes in the family bear not only on the relations between the spouses, but on the mental interaction between children and parents. Although this is a topic for a separate investigation, let us note that there is a growing body of opinion in the world that there is no need for both parents to ensure normal growth and development of the child. The number of people sharing this view has increased rapidly over the past quarter century in Sweden, Britain, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and also in Russia. The number of people approving divorce has also grown (Realization of reproductive function of the family, n.d.).
A comparative analysis of the Torah, the Bible and the Koran reveals that from one epistle to the next, as mankind progresses intellectually and mentally, the Creator increasingly appeals to human reason gradually removing from man’s consciousness the demand for unconditional obedience to God’s will and dictate.
The threat to annihilate a person disobeying God and instilling of fear of God as the “treasure of his soul” give way to the calls to love God and men “of kindred spirit,” and most importantly, to consciously (owing to his intellectual capacity) obey the laws vouchsafed by the Most High God. (Oganesyan, 2017; Oganesyan, 2018).
However, while the Torah, considering the mental level of people more than 1300 years before the preaching of Jesus instilled trepidation and fear of the name of the Creator, the New Testament and the Koran appeal more and more to the consciousness of man, his reason and the need to understand the supreme practicability of compliance with the laws. The Koran, furthermore, advises man to address the Creator with the words “My Lord, increase me in knowledge” to be able to solve the diverse problems that crop up (Surah 20:114) (The Koran, 2008).
One can clearly trace from one epistle to the next that as mankind progresses in its mental development the Creator increasingly appeals to man’s reason granting him the right to regulate his life himself. Therefore the Scriptures gradually remove from people’s consciousness the demand for unquestioning submission to God’s will and show how and why people are granted the right to independently regulate their lives through laws framed by themselves. Suffice it to remember that Jesus, unlike Moses, did not offer pagan peoples a single law. He gave them only commandments as the world view and ideological basis for the laws people were to develop themselves in accordance with their specific characteristics.
The Koran openly declares, “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (Surah 2:256), (The Koran, 2008) and does not forbid people to “divide in their religion and become sects” thus anticipating scientific cognition of the world (Surah 6:159) (The Koran, 2008). Moreover, the Koran says that “every age has its own Book,” its own rules and norms of behavior and that “Allah effaces whatever He wills and retains whatever he wills” (Surah 13: 38,39) (The Koran, 2008).
It is not by chance that the Creator heralds the Koran as his last message to mankind and Muhammed as the last prophet. Mankind will itself be able to determine the most productive forms and methods of existence and development, independently identifying the regularities and laws that will enable it to follow the path ordained by the Creator.
It is logical that scientific-technical progress owes much to the intellectual activities of men which dramatically reduced the share of manual labor in society’s life. It was men who harnessed for their needs electricity, communications, transport, electronics, computers, technologies and much else that drastically changed people’s lives. However, by these inventions men effectively deprived themselves of the spheres of social activity in which they were employed owing to their physiology, it was men who stimulated the inclusion of women in social labor and irreversible processes in their social development and functioning.
To sum up the above-said, we can foresee the emergence of a special type of human being who, owing to its intellectual development would have no gender differences and no need to procreate himself by sexual means with all the consequences that entails for the existence of marriage and family in the sense characteristic of religious epochs of man’s existence.
Today mankind is living through perhaps the most exciting stages in the history of its mental existence, an awareness of its fundamental difference from all the other “living” creatures on our planet and of its mission, to use the language of the Scriptures, to be “gods” with all the consequences this entails for the organization of his life and further development. The emancipation of women, in my opinion, is but one manifestation of the general strategy of the development of mankind anticipated by such eternal “information sources” as the Torah, the Bible and the Koran. Incidentally, it is no accident that the Koran presents the Scriptures as the three Messages to humankind from the Entity (entities) that presented itself to people at a certain mental and socio-economic stage of their development as being one Creator (the One God) of all humans (Oganesyan, 2018).
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18 December 2019
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Oganesyan*, S. (2019). Torah, New Testament and Koran on Inevitability of Women’s Emancipation. In S. Ivanova, & I. Elkina (Eds.), Cognitive - Social, and Behavioural Sciences - icCSBs 2019, vol 74. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 231-241). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.02.28