Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion
The Power of the Hysterical Woman
By (author) Margaret Y. MacDonald
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Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion by Margaret Y. MacDonald
Book DescriptionThis 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. He was referring to 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 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 group as a whole.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521567282
(216mm x 138mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 3-Oct-1996
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Margaret Y. MacDonald
Sacra Pagina, Paperback (March 2008)
MacDonald offers a fresh perspective on Colossians and Ephesians by making use of insights from the social sciences. Moreover, by paying attention to subtle differences between the two letters, she brings their distinct perspectives into sharp relief.
Pauline Churches, Paperback (December 2004)
The author studies the Pauline corpus in order to trace the process of institutionalisation in the Pauline communities.
Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion, Hardback (October 1996)» View all books by Margaret Y. MacDonald
This book studies the public reaction to the church, and its influence on the lives of early Christian women.
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