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Why the Sex and Gender Conflicts in the Early Church Still Matter
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In this compelling book April D. DeConick applies her characteristic interest in marginalized early Christian groups to a topic that has drawn considerable scholarly attention in the past several decades: the study of women, sex, and gender in early Christianity. Holy Misogyny is an accessible and imaginative historical reconstruction of the textual and extratextual conflicts behind early Christian displacement of both 'the female aspect' of deity and women's bodies, identity, and authority. -- Justin Glessner, University of British Columbia * Near Eastern Archaeology * In this lucid and logically arranged book, April D. DeConick, professor of Religious Studies at Rice University, makes a presentation of the ways in which women appear or don't appear in the ancient religious record ... DeConick canvasses a broad range of sources and presents complexities that will interest advanced readers and provoke reflection among them ... The relevance of this book to questions of religion and gender is unquestionable. -- Mark Masterson, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand * Religion and Gender * '[This book] is a superbly researched 200-page compendium by [the author] presenting the origins of such Christian doctrinal issues as to why God is male, the association of women with sin, the denial of priesthood to females, and more. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking [this book] is a strongly recommended read for anyone concerned with the origin of gender equality issues within the contemporary Christian community.'-The Midwest Book Review 'The book is academically rigorous, but at every point DeConick interprets her data in the light of her intended conclusion...This volume is suitable for libraries at the intersection of women's studies, the history of Christianity, and theology.'-Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries 'Despite the fact that the subject is well-known, almost cliche in certain circles, DeConick brings some new information and insights to the table in her analysis...The most important anthropological message in her eye-opening work is that every tradition, including its scriptures (which claim the greatest authenticity and authoritativeness) is diverse and historically constructed...' -- Anthropology Review Database April DeConick has collected materials from a wide range of early Christian evidence. The result is a brave book, in a straight-forward style accessible to a non-specialist audience, on an uncomfortable subject. -- Jorunn J. Buckley, Associate Professor of Religion, Bowdoin College, USA An intriguing, important, and appropriately dangerous book. DeConick brings her study of the difficult canonical and apocryphal texts into conversation with contemporary concerns in a satisfying and accessible way. Her style is both technical and easy-going. This is a book for the general public as well as the academic classroom. I learned a great deal from it and am left with many questions to chew on happily and to discuss. The reader is aided in the search for 'Lady God,' and in the struggle to create societies that abhor and reject violence to the female body. -- Jane Schaberg, Professor of Biblical Studies and Gender/Women's Studies, University of Detroit Mercy, USA April DeConick, a world class scholar, has written a must-read book for those interested in gender issues in relationship to God. By integrating her vast knowledge of extra-canonical and canonical texts, she expansively analyzes the effect of misogyny on conceptions of the female body and the profound difference such marginalization has made, even today for women's ecclesiastical leadership and ordination. -- Ann Graham Brock, Associate Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Iliff School of Theology, USA The near-programmatic downgrading and degrading of women is one of the most shameful aspects of traditional Christianity. In this powerful book, DeConick rejects conventional theological and herme
April D. DeConick is the Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University, USA. She is the author of numerous books on early Christian history, including The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says.
Introduction: A Lady God? Chapter 1. Where did God the Mother Go? The Jewish Spirit The Angel Sophia A Hebrew Goddess The Recovery of God's Wife Chapter 2. Why was the Spirit Neutered? Introducing Jesus' True Mother Carried up Mount Tabor In the Name of the Mother Spirit Born from the Womb of Water Milking the Breasts of God The Mother's Erasure God's Gender Crisis Chapter 3. Did Jesus Think Sex is a Sin? A Double Message Sex Limits Sex According to Jesus A Women's Advocate Chapter 4. Did Paul Hate Women? The Burgeoning of Chastity To Veil or Not to Veil Vanishing Women Chapter 5. Is Marriage a Sin? Rereading Genesis The Devil Made Me Do tI In Defiance of the Creator It's the End of the World Chapter 6. Is Marriage Salvation? Sacred Sex The Law is a Joke Soul Collectors Chapter 7. Once a Woman, Always a Woman? The Church is a Household Brides of Christ The Devil's Gateway Chapter 8. How do we Solve a Problem Like Maria? Mary Caught in the Crossfire The Male Mary The Sexual Mary The Apostolic Mary Chapter 9. Because the Bible Tells Us So? Further Reading Notes