Gender and Religion

Although survey numbers are rapidly changing and difficult to interpret, most Czechs are effectively atheists and highly secularized. The Czech lands were historically Roman Catholic, but the early reformer Jan Hus inspired a rebellion against clerical abuses in the 15 th century. The Czechs were aggressively re-Catholicized when the Austrian Habsburgs regained control during the Thirty Years' War. All religious observances were discouraged under Communism. In the 2001 census, 27% of Czechs gave their religion as Roman Catholic, 2% belonged to the largest two Protestant churches together, and some 59% claimed no religion at all. As in most Catholic countries, few young people are now entering religious orders, and an increasing percentage of Catholic clergy and religious are coming from other countries, notably Poland. The general religious conception is thus post-Catholic: God is conceived as male, and the first humans were Adam and Eve. At present there is no strong cult of the Virgin Mary, though there was in historical times.

Czechs also have their own legends of pre-Christian times, in which Ur-father Cech led his tribe of Slavs into present-day Bohemia. (Cech is a patriarchal figure clearly influenced in conception by the biblical Abraham. Cech was succeeded by his son, who died without male heirs and left the kingdom to his three daughters, each of whom possessed divine talents. The youngest daughter, Libuse, had the gift of prophecy and ruled over the Czechs until people began to complain that women made judgments more on the basis of emotion than justice. To make her people happy, she told them to go to a certain place where they would find a man hewing a threshold (prah); this man Prsemysl would become her husband and king and legendary founder of the first Czech (Psremyslid) dynasty, and the place where they found him would be the foundation of Prague (Praha). Afterwards, a number of women complained at their loss of power and began to fight the men in the so-called "Maidens' War."

After several battles and much loss of life, the women were eventually subdued and were forbidden from ever again holding power in the Czech lands (Demetz, 1997).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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