Hair as a Glory: An Analysis of the Perceptions of Hair in St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church
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In early Christianity, Biblical authors and theological authorities mandated that a woman should cover her head while in church or prayer. Compared to the time in which the New Testament was compiled, significantly fewer Christian churches today require female parishioners to wear head coverings. Many have embraced this shift in norms, but some continue to veil themselves in worship. This thesis will discuss how hair was viewed in early Christianity as a basis to investigate modern perceptions of hair and its treatment within St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church. In juxtaposing the opinions of the subjects studied, this thesis will demonstrate a transition of hair’s significance from the historically spiritual to the contemporarily social. As a complement to the research, five narratives have been created based on my personal interactions and questionnaire results for five parishioners representing the diverse opinions within this Greek Orthodox community.