Locating Opportunities: Women, Ritualizations, and Social Experimentation in Early Jesus Groups

  • Author / Creator
    Brkich, Angela L
  • The descriptions of women found in early Christian texts are not consistent. In some cases women are depicted as powerful and influential individuals who contributed to the development of their religious community, while in other cases women are described as marginal and problematic. This dissertation is devoted to documenting and explaining the varying views on and positions of women in early Christian associations. Central to this project is the question if there is a connection between social experimentations, ritual performances, and the status of women in specific early Christian communities. This project demonstrates that women belonging to the earliest Jesus groups and later Christian groups found opportunities to exhibit agency and power as well as challenge social paradigms. However, this research also demonstrates that women belonging to numerous Greco-Roman and Jewish associations found the same opportunities. Rather than focus on specific worldviews or beliefs, this project suggests that we should consider what practices granted women the opportunities to challenge the idealized traditional Greco-Roman gender paradigms and obtain leadership positions.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Muir, Stephen (Religious Studies)
    • Cooper, Kate (Religious Studies)
    • Kitchen, John (History and Classics)
    • Landy, Francis (History and Classics)
    • Brown, Sylvia (English and Film Studies)