Jewish and Christian Women in the Ancient Mediterranean
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 31, 2021
This engaging and accessible textbook provides an introduction to the study of ancient Jewish and Christian women in their Hellenistic and Roman contexts.
This is the first textbook dedicated to introducing women’s religious roles in Judaism and Christianity in a way that is accessible to undergraduates from all disciplines. The textbook provides brief, contextualising overviews that then allow for deeper explorations of specific topics in women’s religion, including leadership, domestic ritual, women as readers and writers of scripture, and as innovators in their traditions. Using select examples from ancient sources, the textbook provides teachers and students with the raw tools to begin their own exploration of ancient religion. An introductory chapter provides an outline of common hermeneutics or "lenses" through which scholars approach the texts and artefacts of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity. The textbook also features a glossary of key terms, a list of further readings and discussion questions for each topic, and activities for classroom use. In short, the book is designed to be a complete, classroom-ready toolbox for teachers who may have never taught this subject as well as for those already familiar with it.
Jewish and Christian Women in the Ancient Mediterranean is intended for use in undergraduate classrooms and its target audience is undergraduate students and their instructors, although Masters students may also find the book useful. In addition, the book is accessible and lively enough that religious communities’ study groups and interested laypersons could employ the book for their own education.
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
List of boxes
List of activities
Introduction for Instructors
Chapter 1: Introduction
What Sort of Book is This?
What is Gender Studies?
What is a Text and what is Reading?
Conclusion: What Role do our Assumptions Play in our Reading?
Chapter 2: Religious Systems of Antiquity
Introduction: Standard Religious Categories and Why We Challenge Them
Problematic Vocabulary: Jewish, Christian, Pagan
The Academic Study of Religion
Greco-Roman Religions: An Overview
Chapter 3: Bodies of Literature
Introduction: Diversity in Ancient Judaism and Christianity
What Bodies of Literature are Available from Antiquity?
Early Christian Apocrypha
Patristic and Apostolic Literature
Conclusion: Tools for these Texts
Chapter 4: Accessing Ancient Sources
Introduction to Hermeneutics
Subjectivity and the Text
Conclusion: Off You Go!
Chapter 5: Ancient Judaism
Introduction: Judaism in the Second Temple Period
History and Ancient Historians
Women of the Hasmonaean and Herodian Courts
Women and Second Temple Groups
The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran
The Babatha Archives
Conclusion: So Many Unknowns
Chapter 6: Early Jesus Movement
The Early Jesus Movement
Why a Separate Chapter on Jesus?
Jesus and Jewish/Roman Politics
Women Followers of Jesus in Paul
Women Followers of Jesus in the Gospels and Acts
Disciples, Apostles, Baptisers
The Samaritan Woman
Conclusion: Context is Key
Chapter 7: Religion in Daily Life: From Birth to Death
Introduction: Public Men and Private Women? Not so fast.
Beginnings: Marriage and Birth
Middles: Daily Life
Women’s Ritual in the Home
Conclusion: From History to Herstory
Chapter 8: Women as Consumers, Characters, and Creators of Literature
Introduction: On Literature and Women
Thinking with Women
The Rise of Women Protagonists
Conclusion: Women Consumers, Characters, and Creators
Chapter 9: (Wo)manly Ways of Dying
Introduction: Martyrdom, Sacrifice, Noble Death
Martyrdom as Text
Noble Death: Socrates
Manly Martyrs, Gendered Bodies
Martyrs in 2 Maccabees
Martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas
Thecla: A Failed Martyr?
Masada: Preemptive Martyrs?
Conclusion: Persecution’s Mythical Function
Chapter 10: The Second Century and Beyond
Introduction: Continuities and Differences into Later Antiquity
Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue
Women Leaders in the Early Church
Women in Rabbinic Literature
Brief History of the Rabbinic Period
Conclusion: Your Suspicious and Savvy Mission
Sara Parks is Assistant Professor in Biblical Studies (New Testament) at Dublin City University, Ireland. She researches gender in late Second-Temple Judaism and early Christianity. Parks is the author of Gender in the Rhetoric of Jesus: Women in Q.
Shayna Sheinfeld is a Fellow at the Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan, USA. Her current project examines diversity in Jewish leadership by challenging androcentric ideas of authority in both ancient sources and contemporary scholarship. Sheinfeld recently edited Gender and Second-Temple Judaism.
Meredith J.C. Warren is Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, UK, where she is Director of the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies. Author of Food and Transformation in Ancient Mediterranean Literature, Warren researches shared cultural understandings of eating in ancient narratives.