Early Christian women and pagan opinion: the power of the hysterical woman

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. He was referring to a fol...

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Bibliographic Details
Subtitles:Early Christian Women & Pagan Opinion
Main Author: MacDonald, Margaret Y. 1961-
Format: Electronic Book
Language:English
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Published: Cambridge Cambridge University Press 1996.
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Woman / Church
B Woman / Church history studies 30-200
Further subjects:B Women in Christianity History, Early church, ca. 30-600
B Christianity and other religions Greek
B Church history ; Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600
B Women in Christianity History Early church, ca. 30-600
B Church history, Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600
B Women in Christianity ; History ; Early church, ca. 30-600
B Christianity and other religions ; Roman
B Christianity and other religions Novel
B Christianity and other religions ; Greek
B Church History Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
Parallel Edition:Non-electronic
Print version: 9780521561747
Description
Summary: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. 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.
Item Description:Title from publisher's bibliographic system (viewed on 05 Oct 2015)
ISBN:0511520549
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511520549