Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion: The Power of the Hysterical Woman / Edition 1

Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion: The Power of the Hysterical Woman / Edition 1

by Margaret Y. MacDonald
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521567289

ISBN-13: 9780521567282

Pub. Date: 10/28/1996

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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…  See more details below

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521567282
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
292
Product dimensions:
5.43(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.67(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
List of abbreviations
Introduction1
Pt. 1Pagan reaction to early Christian women in the second century CE49
Pt. 2Celibacy, women, and early church responses to public opinion127
Pt. 3Marriage, women, and early church responses to public opinion183
General conclusion249
Bibliography259
Index272

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