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SPONSA CHRISTI: The Theological Foundation for the Order of Consecrated Virgins Living in the World as Brides of Christ and Images of the Church

Maria Alessandria Go (Philippines)

Master of Arts in Theological Studies with a field of specialization in Systematic Theology
Fr. Rowan Rebustillo, S.T.D., Ph.D. (Adviser)

Abstract:

The Order of Consecrated Virgins is an ancient vocation that celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its renewal last May 31, 2020. The circumstances of consecrated virgins in the church today are vastly different from those of the Patristic era. In light of such renewal, there is a need to understand this more deeply within the context of a more secularized society.

This study delves into a historical survey of the theology of consecrated virgins as Brides of Christ and image of the Church as the Bride of Christ and their unique holy secularity.

The Biblical foundation begins with the Old Testament where God is seen as the Bridegroom of Israel. In the New Testament, this is further fulfilled in Jesus as the Bridegroom of His Bride, the Church. This will then show the theological development of virginity as a lack of blessing from God in the Old Testament to celibacy and virginity as valuable for the kingdom of God in the New Testament.

The Patristic and Medieval eras developed the theology of the Church as the Bride of Christ through typological reading of the New Testament in light of the Old Testament. Contemporary theologians continued this typological reading. However, they also grappled with the paradox of the Church as the pure bride of Christ and the sinfulness of the members of the Church.

In the Patristic era, the theologies of virginity were based on the lived examples of vowed and consecrated virgins. In the Medieval era, consecrated virgins were replaced by monastic orders. However, the theological significance of virginity was affirmed. In the Contemporary era, the theology of consecrated virginity emphasizes the fruitful asceticism and passive and active aspects of the vocation as a charismatic gift and active decision.

The holy secularity of consecrated virginity is unique. In the Patristic era, this was seen in the early consecrated virgins and widows. In the Medieval era, this was seen in the communities of beguines. In the contemporary era, this is mirrored by the holy lives of members of secular institutes and the laity. As they live their vocation in the world, they show the contemplative and eschatological image of the Church.

Final Defense:

27 June 2024, Thursday, 10:00 a.m, online

Board of Examiners:

  1. Ms. Josefina Manabat, S.L.D. (Second Reader/Principal Examiner)
  2. Fr. Genaro Diwa, S.L.L.
  3. Fr. Oliver Dy, S.J., S.T.D., Ph.D.

Proposal Defense:

Date: 16 March 2022, Wednesday, 2:00-3:15pm, Online via Zoom (hosted by Mr. Jerry Orio)

Board of Examiners:
1. Fr. Rowan Rebustillo, S.T.D., Ph.D. (Adviser)
2. Fr. Arnel Aquino, S.J., S.T.D.
3. Fr. Christopher Fajardo, S.T.D. cand.

Home » Academic Programs » Theses and Dissertations » Maria Alessandria Go (Philippines)
Loyola School of Theology