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Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion: The Power of the Hysterical Woman (Margaret Y MacDonald) Hardcover Book, (Cambridge University Press, 1996) 9780521561747
Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion: The Power of the Hysterical Woman (Margaret Y MacDonald) Hardcover Book, (Cambridge University Press, 1996) 9780521561747
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Title: Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion: The Power of the Hysterical Woman

Author: MacDonald, Margaret Y

Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Publication Date: 1996

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780521561747

Volumes: 1; Pages: 290

List Price in Cloth: $127.00 Our price: $117.99

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A study of how women figured in public reaction to the church from New Testament times to the second century C.E.. MacDonald shows the conviction of pagan writers that female initiative was central to Christianity's development, and the belief that women inclined toward excesses in religion. Concern in the New Testament and early Christian texts about the respectability of women is seen in a new light when one appreciates that outsiders focused on early church women and their activities as a reflection of the group as a whole.Reviews"This sensitively written and subtly argues book sheds new light on the position of women in early Christianity by investigating the stereotypes of Christian women purveyed in pagan and early Christian texts through the lens of social-scientific models of gender relations."--University of Toronto Quarterly"Recommended both for the educated reader and the scholar of Christian origins."--Sara C. Winter, Religious Studies Review"This book will be of particular interest to early-Christian scholars working on women and/or on Christianity and pagan culture as well as to scholars studying women and religion."--Susan A. Calef, Journal of Religion"... MacDonald ... has raised a very important question in the study of early Christianity, one that should continue to be pursued."--Carolyn Osiek, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly"MacDonald has helped us to understand new dimensions of these tensions, and she has done so in a balanced and nuanced way that one can only admire."--Peter Richardson, Studies in Relgion"MacDonald writes a provocative inquiry into the interaction between women in earliest Christianity and the restraints and opportunities afforded them in Greco-Roman society. The volume is marked by informed and carefully applied social and anthropological contructs which bear on an analysis of religions in the first centuries C.E. Original lines of investigations are pursued, and some intriguing conclusions are offered to the reader. This book is a welcome addition to the academic study of religion and to New Testament scholarship in particular. It is cleanly edited, with helpful bibliography and serviceable index."--Rollin A. Ramsarin, Journal of the American Academy of Religion"Those interested in women's studies will, of course, welcome this book, but any student of the early Church will learn from it ... this is a good book for scholars and lay people alike."--Stephen Benko, The Catholic Historical ReviewContentsIntroduction: 1. Defining the task2. Women's studies in early Christianity and cultural anthropology3. Honour and shame4. Public, male/ private, female5. A social-scientific concept of powerPart I. Pagan Reaction to Early Christian Women in the Second Century C.E.: 1. Pliny2. Marcus Cornelius Fronto3. Lucius Apuleius4. Lucian of Samosata5. Galen of Pergamum6. Celsus7. ConclusionPart II. Celibacy, Women, and Early Church Responses to Public Opinion: 1. Paul's teaching on marriage as a 'conversionist' response to the world2. Paul's focus on women holy in body and spirit in 1 Corinthians 73. A focus on women in light of the values of honor and shame4. 1 Timothy 5.3-16--second-century celibate women under public scrutiny5. When the private becomes public--contacts between 1 Timothy 5.3-16 and the Acts of Paul and TheclaPart III. Marriage, Women, and Early Church Responses to Public Opinion: 1. 1 Corinthians 7.12-16--the evangelising potential of household relations2. 1 Peter 3.1-16--recovering the lives of the quiet evangelists3. Justin's woman married to an unchaste husband--religious sensiblities and life with a pagan husband4. Married life and the social reality of women in the communities of Ignatius of Antioch5. From Ephesians 5.21-33 to Ignatius, Letter to Polycarp 5.1-2--the evolution of authority structures governing the lives of married women6. The church-bride and married women as mediators between the church and the world7. ConclusionGeneral conclusion
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