The Wilderness and Early Christian Monasticism

In the sixth chapter of his The Word in the Desert, Douglas Burton-Christie reflects on the influence of eschatology, compunction (penthos), asceticism, and the struggle against evil on the shape of the scriptural interpretation of the Desert Fathers (and Mothers). Highlighting monastic awareness of coming death and judgment (182-3), compunction and the power of scriptureContinue reading “The Wilderness and Early Christian Monasticism”

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Women in the Apostolic Fathers: Method

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Women in the Apostolic Fathers. A number of methodological presuppositions stand behind this study. Perhaps most central are the framing concerns of engaging ancient sources within their specific socio-cultural contexts and historical discourses, letting each particular writing and writer speak for themselves whenever possible, and consideringContinue reading “Women in the Apostolic Fathers: Method”

Marriage, Virginity, and Rhetoric for Gregory of Nyssa

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting upon Women and Gender in Early Christianity. This post reflects on Morwenna Ludlow’s “Useful and Beautiful: A Reading of Gregory of Nyssa’s On Virginity and a Proposal for Understanding Early Christian Literature”,[1] which argues that Gregory defends both marriage and virginity through employment of artful andContinue reading “Marriage, Virginity, and Rhetoric for Gregory of Nyssa”

Early Christianity, Method, and the Body

The academic study of the ancient world remains a field full of exciting realms of consideration. This remains especially true for historians of the early Jesus Movement and Christian Church, where numerous fields of study are in need of critical exploration, including conceptions of the human body and sexuality within early Christianity. As a meansContinue reading “Early Christianity, Method, and the Body”

Book Review: The Body and Society (Brown)

In the updated 20th anniversary edition of his classic work, The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity, Peter Brown examines the “practice of permanent sexual renunciation—continence, celibacy, life-long virginity” that developed in Christian circles from the first through fifth centuries.[1] In this work, Brown examines a vast array of perspectivesContinue reading “Book Review: The Body and Society (Brown)”