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The Concept of Woman, volume III: The Search for Communion of Persons 1500-2015

, 2016
ISBN: 9780802868435


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The culmination of a lifetime’s scholarly work, this pioneering study by Sister Prudence Allen traces the concept of woman in relation to man in Western thought from ancient times to the present. In her third and final volume Allen covers the years 1500–2015, continuing her chronological approach to individual authors and also offering systematic arguments to defend certain philosophical positions over against others.

Building on her work from Volumes I and II, Allen draws on four “communities of discourse”—Academic, Humanist, Religious, and Satirical—as she traces several recurring strands of sex and gender identity from the Renaissance to the present. Now complete, Allen’s magisterial study is a valuable resource for scholars and students in the fields of women’s studies, philosophy, history, theology, literary studies, and political science.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Click here for more information on The Concept of Woman, volume 1.

Click here for more information on The Concept of Woman, volume 2.

Key Features

  • Traces the concept of woman in relation to man in the history of Western philosophy
  • Argues for positions by appealing to the evidence of the senses and reason
  • Compares and contrasts arguments from different philosophical communities


  • Chronological Tables
  • Illustrations
  • List of Tables
  • Acknowledgements


  • Method of Approach
  • The Meaning of Sex and Gender in This Book
  • Can Integral Gender Complementarity Be Proven?
  • Two Original Ideas Essential to Integral
  • First Developments of the Two Original Types with Preservation of Type, Continuity of Principles, and Assimilative Power of These Living Ideas
  • Conservative Action of Original Type on Its Past with Corruption Tending to Its Destruction Descripted in The Concept of Woman II
  • The Structure of Volume 3

Engendered Identities in Religious Events and Authors

  • Isabella of Portugal (1451-1504)
  • Two Religious Events at the Beginning of the Modern Era
  • Women in the Later Humanist Reformation
  • Women in the Counter-Reformation

Woman’s Identity in Academic and Later Humanist Texts

  • The Beginning of Reverse Sex and Gender Polarity Arguments
  • Satires Consider Women, Masculinity, and Femininity
  • New Types of Satires about Women

Gender Identity and the Copernican Revolution in Macrocosm and Microcosm

  • Woman and Generation in the Macrocosm
  • Women and Generation in the Microcosm

The Cartesian Revolution in Sex and Gender Identity

  • Descartes and Women Philosophers
  • Effects of Cartesian Philosophy on the Concept of Woman
  • The Transcendental Argument against Descartes
  • Descartes’ Complex Legacy for the Concept of Woman

Post-Cartesian Battle over Sex and Gender Identity

  • Post-Cartesian Rise of Fractional Complementarity with Hidden Polarity
  • Reform Critiques of Fractional Complementarity with Polarity
  • New Forms of Sex and Gender Polarity in the Fields of Psychology
  • New Vigor for the Living Idea of Integral Complementarity of Men and Women
  • True Development of Soul/Body Unity and Gender Complementarity

Sex and Gender Polarity and Ideology in Conflict with Integral Sex and Gender Complementarity

  • New Forms of Traditional and Reverse Sex and Gender Polarities
  • The Rise of Sex and Gender Ideologies
  • Gender Ideology Goes Viral
  • Mapping and Attacking the Gender Ideology Virus
  • Contributions to Twentieth and Twenty-First-Century Integral Gender Complementarity

Saint Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II: Founder of Integral Gender Complementarity

  • Karol Wojtyla (1920-1978): Philosopher of Integral Complementarity
  • John Paul II (1978-2005): Apostle of Integral Complementarity


  • Unisex Models in Conflict with “Soul/Body Composite Identity” of a Woman and a Man
  • Continuity in the Development of Integral Gender Complementarity
  • Preserve the Identity and Continuity of Principles in the Type from Beginning to End
  • Capacity for Assimilating Dogmatic Truth and Fidelity in Logical Sequential Development
  • Cartesian Sources of the Equality of Woman and Man in a Unisex Theory
  • Science and the Recovery of Aristotelianism/Thomism
  • The Carmelite Age in Contributions to the Concept of Woman
  • The Chronic Vigor of the Integral Complementarity of Woman and Man

Praise for the Print Edition

This book is a gift to the twenty-first century, given how much confusion remains over the meaning and value of being a woman! Nowhere else can a reader find a more thorough or intellectually rigorous examination of the concept of woman, in a text seamlessly integrating philosophy, theology, and culture.

—Helen M. Alvaré, George Mason University

A masterful culmination of Sister Prudence Allen’s groundbreaking study of the concept of woman in the history of Western philosophy. This final volume is a rich, multi-layered work that explores the increasingly contentious issues of sex and gender from a wide range of illuminating perspectives. Allen continues to reward readers with the fruits of her painstaking research and insightful analysis, painting a sweeping, vivid picture of the currents and crosscurrents of arguments made by the most important (yet often unheralded) philosophers writing after 1500.

—Elizabeth R. Schiltz, University of St. Thomas School of Law

With this final piece of her magnificent three-volume work, Sr. Prudence Allen has bequeathed a masterpiece of fine historical research and deft philosophical reasoning which is both timely and timeless. Destined to be a classic in philosophical anthropology, sexual ethics, and gender studies, The Concept of Woman III is essential reading for those who wish to make their way through the crazed maze of gender politics today with the help of a solid philosophical articulation of the differences and complementarity of the sexes. Future generations will join me in praising this monumental work.

—Michele M. Schumacher, University of Fribourg

An excellent, dispassionate study of how human beings have thought about women over the centuries. Sister Prudence Allen is to be congratulated for making a serious contribution to our reflections on the concept of woman.

—Fr. Francis Martin, Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC

  • Title: The Concept of Woman: Volume III: The Search for Communion of Persons 1500–2015
  • Author: Prudence Allen
  • Volume: III
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2016
  • Logos Release Date: 2019
  • Pages: 574
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Women › History--Renaissance, 1450-1600; Women › History--Modern period, 1600-; Femininity (Philosophy) › History; Sex › History; Women › Religious aspects--Catholic Church--History of doctrines--20th century; Sex role › Religious aspects--Catholic Church--History of doctrines
  • ISBN: 9780802868435
  • Resource ID: LLS:CNCPT1500201503
  • Resource Type: text.monograph.church-history
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2021-04-01T21:01:26Z

Prudence Allen is professor of philosophy at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. She has spent more than 25 years engaged in research on the concept of woman in relation to the concept of man in philosophy.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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    Jeremy Priest




Digital list price: $49.99
Save $10.00 (20%)