Women and Christianity: The First Thousand Years

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The history of Christianity reveals a great ambivalence towards women. On the one hand, women have been included, graced, called, inspired and canonized by Christianity throughout the centuries. On the other hand, women have not always felt appreciated within the Christian tradition and have indeed often been excluded and even oppressed.

Women & Christianity brings to light both the persistent courage and the innovative quality of women's lives. Dr. Malone's perspective not only offers a critical analysis of previous conventional histories, but emphasizes the importance of women's contributions to the creation of Western culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
In Women & Christianity, educator and author Mary Malone examines the chronic and pervasive ambivalence towards women throughout the first thousand years of Christianity. While women from the very beginnings of the Christian Church have been graced, called, inspired, and canonized down through the centuries, they have also been excluded and even oppressed by clergy and other leaders of the Christian community who cited scripture and Christian tradition (including Apocryphal and Gnostic literatures) as the justifying source of their discrimination. Very highly recommended for women's studies and students of Christian history from 30 C.E. to 1002 C.E. (the "Dateline" section is particularly noteworthy), Women & Christianity showcases both the persistent courage and the innovative quality of women's lives, as well as offering a critical analysis of previous conventional histories. The clear emphasis throughout is the enduring importance of women's contributions to the creation of Western culture in general, and the evolving Christian community in particular.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570753664
  • Publisher: Orbis Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 991,992
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Dateline 7
Introduction 13
Pt. 1 New Testament Times (First Century)
Ch. 1 Reading Women into History 17
Ch. 2 The Women Disciples 43
Ch. 3 Early Christian Women 64
Ch. 4 Women in Apocryphal and Gnostic Literature 86
Pt. 2 Approaching the 'Golden Age' (Second to Fifth Centuries)
Ch. 5 Women Martyrs 102
Ch. 6 Deaconesses, Widows, and Virgins 117
Ch. 7 The Life of Virginity 144
Pt. 3 Into the Dark Ages (Sixth to Tenth Centuries)
Ch. 8 The Abbesses 172
Ch. 9 Women as Monastic Missionaries 198
Ch. 10 The Point of the Story: Joan and Hroswitha 227
Conclusion 244
Select Bibliography 248
Primary Sources 256
Notes 258
Index of People and Places 273
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