The Rape of Eve: The Transformation of Roman Ideology in Three Early Christian Retellings of Genesis

The Rape of Eve: The Transformation of Roman Ideology in Three Early Christian Retellings of Genesis

by Celene Lillie


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Sex, violence, power, and redemption. In recent decades, scholars of New Testament and early Christian traditions have given new attention to the relationships between gender and imperial power in the Roman world. In this surprising work, Celene Lillie examines core passages from three texts from Nag Hammadi, On the Origin of the World, The Reality of the Rulers, and the Secret Revelation of John, in which Eve is portrayed as having been humiliated by the cosmic powers, yet experiencing restoration. Lillie compares that pattern with Gnostic savior motifs concerning Jesus and Seth, then sets it in the broader context of Roman cosmogonic myths at play in imperial ideology. The Nag Hammadi texts, she argues, offer us a window into symbolic forms of Christian resistance to imperial ideology. This groundbreaking study highlights the importance of the Nag Hammadi writings for our fuller appreciation of the currents of Christian response to the Roman Empire and the culture of rape pervasive within it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506423364
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 01/01/2017
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 881,782
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Abbreviations xiii

Introduction 1

1 "The king gave the sign to assault their spoils…" The Mytho-logic of Rape, Marriage, and Conquest 21

2 "One loves, the other flees…" 125

3 "And they lusted after her…" The Rape of Eve and the Violation of the Rulers 179

4 "And so they convicted themselves…" The Rulers and Resistance 241

5 "But she could not be grasped…" Thinking through the Rape of Eve 273

Epilogue 293

Works Consulted 311

Index of Subjects, Writings, and Names 337

Index of Selected Authors 347

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