Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion: The Power of the Hysterical Woman

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$126.72
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $38.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 70%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $38.99   
  • New (5) from $95.73   
  • Used (4) from $38.99   

Overview

This is a study of how women figured in public reaction to the church from New Testament times to Christianity's encounter with the pagan critics of the second century CE. The reference to a hysterical woman was made by the most prolific critic of Christianity, Celsus, and he meant a follower of Jesus, probably Mary Magdalene, who was at the centre of efforts to create and promote belief in the resurrection. MacDonald draws attention to the conviction, emerging from the works of several pagan authors, that female initiative was central to Christianity's development; she sets out to explore the relationship between this and the common Greco-Roman belief that women were inclined towards excesses in matters of religion. The findings of cultural anthropologists of Mediterranean societies are examined in an effort to probe the societal values that shaped public opinion and early church teaching. Concerns expressed in New Testament and early Christian texts about the respectability of women, and even generally about their behaviour, are seen in a new light when one appreciates that outsiders focused on early church women and understood their activities as a reflection of the nature of the group as a whole.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Virginia Burrus
[It focuses] on sites of intersection and dialogue between pagan and Christian perspectives....Among [the book's] strengths is an attunement (albeit without a highly developed theoretical perspective) to the significance of gendered representations in the negotiation of cultural rivalries, together with its attention to the roles of married as well as celibate Christian women.
Society of Biblical Literature
From the Publisher
"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 Review

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521561747
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Pagan reaction to early Christian women in the second century CE 49
Pt. 2 Celibacy, women, and early church responses to public opinion 127
Pt. 3 Marriage, women, and early church responses to public opinion 183
General conclusion 249
Bibliography 259
Index 272
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)