Women Officeholders in Early Christianity: Epigraphical and Literary Studies

Overview

Here Ute E. Eisen provides a scholarly investigation of the evidence that women held offices of authority in the first centuries of Christianity. Topics include apostles, prophets, theological teachers, presbyters, enrolled widows, deacons, bishops, and oikonomae. The book concludes with a chapter on "source-oriented perspectives for a history of Christian women in official positions."
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Overview

Here Ute E. Eisen provides a scholarly investigation of the evidence that women held offices of authority in the first centuries of Christianity. Topics include apostles, prophets, theological teachers, presbyters, enrolled widows, deacons, bishops, and oikonomae. The book concludes with a chapter on "source-oriented perspectives for a history of Christian women in official positions."
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

I enthusiastically recommend the book as required reading not only for college and seminary students but also for clergy, church leaders and anyone interested in Western history or questions of church and ministry.
Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Krister Stendahl Professor of Scripture and Interpretation, Harvard University Divinity School

Eisen's work is something of a watershed in the study of women in early Christianity, and its welcome appearance in English will be of tremendous interest to scholars and students, and to church members and leaders. This will become a standard reference, and it will also renew some debates.
Anglican Theological Review

. . . may well be the first extensive documentation of selected Greek and Latin inscriptions to be used to substantiate the role of women as officeholders, its use as an academic text is quite possible.
Catholic Library World

Readers wishing for a more balanced approach to archaeological and literary evidence for women officeholders in the early church will welcome this translation of Ute Eisen's scholarly treatment of the subject.
Trinity Seminary Review

. . . such archaeology has the power to challenge and revise church history as we have known it. It can teach us to read traditional sources with a more critical eye and to encourage other feminist researchers to keep digging for the truth underneath the sexism.
EEWC Update

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814659502
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Pages: 332
  • Sales rank: 1,257,077
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author


Ute E. Eisen is a Wissenschaftliche Assistentin at the Institute of New Testament Studies and Ancient Judaism at the University of Kiel, Germany. She has a doctorate in theology from the University of Hamburg. Her special areas of study include narrative analysis of Luke-Acts, methodology in New Testament studies, history of early Christianity, and gender studies.

Gary Macy, PhD, teaches at the University of San Diego and is widely published in the areas of medieval theology and devotion.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii
I. Introduction 1
A. The Subject and the Method 1
B. Tendencies in Scholarship 6
C. The Sources 18
D. Summary of Purpose and Procedure 21
II. Apostles 47
A. Women Apostles in the New Testament 47
B. Women Apostles in the Tradition of the Ancient Church 49
III. Prophets 63
A. The Tomb Epigraph of the Prophet Nana 63
B. Literary Evidence 67
IV. Teachers of Theology 89
A. A Papyrus Letter 89
B. Inscriptions 93
C. Christian Women Teachers and the New Testament Prohibitions 99
V. Presbyters 116
A. Epigraphic and Literary Evidence from the East 116
B. Epigraphic and Literary Evidence from the West 128
VI. Enrolled Widows 142
A. Epigraphic and Literary Evidence from the West 142
B. Literary Evidence from the East 147
VII. Deacons 158
A. Inscriptions from Palestine and Vicinity 158
B. Inscriptions from Asia Minor 162
C. Inscriptions from Greece 174
D. Inscriptions from Macedonia 177
E. Inscriptions from the West 182
VIII. Bishops 199
A. Inscriptions 199
B. Women Bishops in the Early Church 205
IX. Stewards 217
A. Inscriptions 217
B. Stewards in Early Christian Literature 219
X. Source-Oriented Perspectives for a History of Christian Women Officeholders 223
Abbreviations 225
Bibliography 227
A. Reference Works 227
B. Primary Sources 232
C. Secondary Literature 248
Index of Women's Names from Antiquity and the Middle Ages 296
Index of Epigraphical and Papyrus Sources 299
Index of Ancient Literature 306
Index of Modern Authors 312
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