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Title: Women and Religion in the First Christian Centuries
Author: Sawyer, Deborah F
Publisher: Routledge/Taylor & Francis; Publication Date: 1996
Paperback; ISBN: 9780415107495
Volumes: 1; Pages: 200
List Price in Paper: $40.95 Our price: $40.95
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Women and Religion in the First Christian Centuries focuses on religion during the period of Roman imperial rule and its significance in women's lives. Discussing the rich variety of religious expression, from pagan cults and classical mythology to ancient Judaism and early Christianity, and the wide array of religious functions fulfilled by women, the author analyzes key examples from each context, creating a vivid image of this crucial period which laid the foundations of Western civilization.
This study challenges the concepts of religion and of women in the light of post-modern critique. As such, it is an important contribution to contemporary gender theory. In its broad and interdisciplinary approach, this book will be of interest to students of early religion as well as those interested in cultural theory.
Table of Contents
Part One: The Setting--Ancient Greece and Hellenization
1. Ancient Rome and Women's Lives,
2. Women within Judaism and Christianity
Part Two: Women in Narrative and Religious Practice
3. The Graeco-Roman Imagination
4. Gods and Goddesses
5. The Religion of Jewish Women
6. From Diversity to Conformity
Part Three: Religion and Gender
7. Magna Mater and the Vestal Virgins
8. Wisdom, Lilith and Mothers
9. Sisters in Christ or Daughters of Eve?
"... Sawyer's study has wide appeal for religion scholars and historians alike. Not only does it introduce the reader to notable women scholars thinking through the portrayal of women and religion in the early centuries of the Common Era, but it is both scholarly and readable--a rare combination."--Signs
"[Sawywer's] presentation makes it worth the read."--Efthalia Makris Walsh, Chevy Chase, (i) Journal of Early Christian Studies (/i), December 1997
"A strength of this study is [Sawyer's] ability to show the significance of religion in women's lives ... The clarity of [her] style and expression and her grasp of gender data in the ancient world are also commendable."--The Catholic Biblical Quarterly