Medieval civilization was centered on theology. Theology inspired its arts, and theology shaped its research in science, law, medicine, and philosophy. The dancers at the court of the queen of sciences were mostly male, and one wonders what their female contemporaries thought or knew of the theological issues that were fundamental to the culture of the period. By the end of the Middle Ages it is probable that there was a high literacy rate among women of the middle and upper classes. Although it is unlikely that these women remained ignorant of the major debates that enlivened the conversations of educated men, evidence of their participation in theological endeavors is scant. Since women were excluded from the universities and formal training in the techniques of scholastic argument, it was virtually impossible for them to develop careers as professional thinkers.