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Women, Gender, and the Study of Christian History

  • Elizabeth A. Clark (a1)


Anglo-Saxonist Allen Frantzen, addressing fellow medievalists in 1993, dismissed fears expressed by female colleaguesthat adopting the designation “gender studies” would signal a reinstatement of “familiar male canons while crowding hard-won courses on women writers out of the curriculum.” Such a regression, Frantzen retorted, was “inconceivable,” since “a return to a prefeminist curriculum is as likely in most universities as a resurgence of the electric typewriter.”



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1. Frantzen, Allen J., “When Women Aren't Enough,” Speculum 68 (1993): 454,citing Showalter, Elaine, Speaking of Gender (New York, 1989), 10.

2. King, Ursula, “Introduction: Gender and the Study of Religion,” in Religion and Gender, ed. King, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995), 23, 22.

3. For the “ghettoization” of women's studies within history, see Bennett, Judith M., “Feminism and History,” Gender & History 1 (1989): 252–53. Bennett blames this development in part on scholars' “toning down” the explicitly feminist orientation of their work to fit more comfortably into their a-feminist or anti-feminist disciplinary spaces.Also see the assessments by Nelson, Janet L., “Family, Gender and Sexuality in the Middle Ages,” in Companion to Historiography, ed. Bentley, Michael (New York: Routledge, 1997), 167–68, and by Dauphin, Cécile, Farge, Arlette, Fraisse, Geneviève et al. , in “Women's Culture and Power,” in Histories: French Constructions of the Past, eds. Revel, Jacques and Hunt, Lynn, Postwar French Thought I (New York: New Press, 1995), 620: “the fact remains that women's history is for the most part done by women, and it is tolerated on the fringes of a discipline on which it exerts no direct influence” (French original: “Culture et pouvoir des femmes: Essai d'historiographie,” Annales E.S.C. 41 [1986]: 271–94).

4. Bennett, , “Feminism and History,” 256: Bennett urges feminist historians “to regain our moral vision, our political nerve, our feminist indignation.”

5. Thus Liz James's blunt assessment of “stage one” feminist historiography: it is “boring” simply to write that “there were women saints and this is what they did”—yet this approach was acceptable to the patriarchal establishment, so that “we could all safely ‘do women.’ ” In “stage two” (and here she writes as an art historian) the “why” questions were asked, centering around the investigation of a “feminine aesthetic” and an investigation of the means of production (“Introduction,” Women, Men and Eunuchs: Gender in Byzantium [New York: Routledge, 1997), xii–xiv).

6. Smith, Jonathan Z., “Religion, Religions, Religious,” in Critical Terms for Religious Studies, ed. Taylor, Mark C. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 281–82.

7. Shaw, Rosalind, “Feminist Anthropology and the Gendering of Religious Studies,” in Religion and Gender, ed. King, , 6869.See Bynum, Caroline Walker, “Introduction: The Complexity of Symbols,” in Gender and Religion: On the Complexity of Symbols, eds. Bynum, Caroline Walker, Harrell, Stevan, and Richman, Paula (Boston: Beacon, 1986), 2: if “there is no such thing as generic homo religiosus,” then “[n]o scholar studying religion, no participant in ritual, is ever neuter.”

8. See discussion in Scott, Joan W., “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” American Historical Review 91 (1986): 1066.

9. In Signs 1 (1976): 809–23.I cite from the version reprinted in the collection of Kelly's essays, Women, History, and Theory: The Essays of Joan Kelly (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 118.

10. Kelly, , “The Social Relation of the Sexes,” 1.

11. Kelly, , “The Social Relation of the Sexes,” 3,19.The next year, Kelly, published a longer essay on this theme, “Did Women Have a Renaissance?” in Becoming Visible: Women in European History, eds. Bridenthal, Renate and Koonz, Claudia (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977),reprinted in Kelly, , Women, History, and Theory, 19–50.

12. Kelly, , “The Social Relations of the Sexes,” 3–4.

13. Kelly, , “The Social Relation of the Sexes,” 8.

14. Kelly, , “The Social Relation of the Sexes,” 9.

15. Kelly, , “The Social Relation of the Sexes,” 12.This latter theme Kelly developed in a third essay, “The Doubled Vision of Feminist Theory: A Postscript to the ‘Women and Power’ Conference,” Feminist Studies 5 (1979): 216–27, reprinted in Kelly, , Women, History, and Theory, 21–64.

16. Kelly, , “The Social Relations of the Sexes,” 1. Fellow Renaissance historian Diane Owen Hughes notes the (somewhat limited) help that the Annales school of history contributed to this process: Annales historians weaned others away from a narrative history of politics and “great men” by suggesting that through the study of household relations and rituals, we could begin to map “the silent world of those ruled by structure rather than event” (“Invisible Madonnas? The Italian Historiographical Tradition and the Women of Medieval Italy,” in Women in Medieval History and Historiography, ed. Stuard, Susan Mosher [Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987], 49).

17. For example, Osiek, Carolyn, “Women in House Churches,” in Common Life in the Early Church: Essays Honoring Graydon F. Snyder, ed. Hills, Julian V. (Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity Press International, 1998), 300–15.

18. For example, Clark, Elizabeth A., “Patrons, Not Priests: Women and Power in Late Ancient Christianity,” Gender & History 2 (1990): 253–73; for the medieval period, see the project “Women's Religious Life and Communities, A.D. 500–1500,”led by McLaughlin, Mary Martin; interim report, “Looking for Medieval Women,” in Monastic Studies: The Continuity of Tradition, ed. Loades, Judith (Bangor [Wales]: Headstart History, 1991), esp. 274;McNamara, Jo Ann, “The Need to Give: Suffering and Female Sanctity in the Middle Ages,” in Images of Sainthood in Medieval Europe, eds. Blumenthal-Kosinski, Renate and Szell, Timea (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), 199221.For women as patrons in Buddhism, see Willis, Janice D., “Nuns and Benefactresses: The Role of Women in the Development of Buddhism,” in Women, Religion, and Social Change, eds. Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck and Findly, Ellison Banks (Albany: SUNY Press, 1985), esp. 7377.

19. Nelson, Janet L., “Women and the Word in the Earlier Middle Ages,” in Women in the Church, eds. Sheils, W. J. and Woods, Diana, Studies in Church History 27 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990), 70; cf. 63, 77 for other examples.

20. Dauphin, , Farge, , Fraisse, et al. , “Women's Culture and Power,” 627: “Women, who frequently survive their spouses and are left in charge of jointly owned property, are the guardians of memory during long years of widowhood, which in some cases are the years of a woman's greatest power; others, however, must endure an extended period of growing loneliness and impoverishment.”

21. One primary goal of women's history is “to understand how a women's culture was constructed within a system of inegalitarian relations and how it concealed the flaws of that system”; see Dauphin, , Farge, , Fraisse, et al. , “Women's Culture and Power,” 624 for a discussion of this goal.

22. Harris, Barbara J., English Aristocratic Women, 1450–1550: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers, forthcoming (introduction and chap. 7). I thank Harris for snaring her work with me prior to publication.

23. The phrase is Nelson's, Janet L.; see her essay “Family, Gender and Sexuality in the Middle Ages,” 169. For a detailed examination of an early medieval widow's “will,”see Nelson's, “The Wary Widow,” in Property and Power in the Early Middle Ages, eds. Davies, Wendy and Fouracre, Paul (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 82113.

24. See now Methuen, Charlotte, “Widows, Bishops and the Struggle for Authority in the Didascalia Apostolorum,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 46 (1995): 203;also see her essay which makes clear that not all classed as “widows” were women with deceased husbands, “The ‘Virgin Widow’: A Problematic Social Role for the Early Church?Harvard Theological Review 90 (1997): 285–98;Torjesen, Karen Jo, When Women Were Priests: Women's Leadership in the Early Church and the Scandal of their Subordination in the Rise of Christianity (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993), 145–49, 151–52;Thurston, Bonnie Bowman, The Widows: A Women's Ministry in the Early Church (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989); and Jensen, Anne, God's Self-Confident Daughters: Early Christianity and the Liberation of Women, trans. Dean, O. C. Jr. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996; German original, 1992), 2225.

25. Methuen, Charlotte, “‘For Pagans Laugh to Hear Women Teach’: Gender Stereotypes in the Didascalia Apostolorum,” in Gender and Christian Religion, ed. Swanson, R. N., Studies in Church History 34 (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 1998), 25. By way of comparison, religious and political contestations in nineteenth-and twentieth-century India over widows' rights—and deaths—provide further evidence for the vulnerability of the condition of widowhood. Recent scholarship on sati tends to emphasize the Western exploitation of a limited phenomenon for political ends.For some interesting and politically informed discussions on sati, see, for example, Mani, Lata, “Contentious Traditions: the Debate on Sati in Colonial India,” in Recasting Women: Essays in Indian Colonial History, eds. Sangari, Kumkum and Vaid, Sudesh (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1990; 1st ed., New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1989), 88–126;Hawley, John S., “Hinduism: Sati and Its Defenders,” in Fundamentalism and Gender, ed. Hawley, John Stratton (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 79110.For a recent case in India in which Muslim custom and Indian law clashed, see Pathak, Zakia and Rajan, Rajeswari Sunder, “‘Shahbano’,” Signs 14 (1989): 558–82,and Awn, Peter J., “Indian Islam: The Shah Bano Affair,” in Fundamentalism and Gender, 63–78.

26. Even Kelly, Joan, who doubtless wished to claim as much “agency” for women as possible, points to the mode of production and property relations as keys to understanding women's roles: “The Social Relations of the Sexes,” 9, 12.

27. Roper, Lyndal, Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality and Religion in Early Modern Europe (New York: Routledge, 1994), 37. Roper's overall argument is that historians have left out “the psychic” from their considerations.

28. Frow, John, Marxism and Literary History (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986), 76.

29. For one expression of this problem, see Conway, Jill K., Bourque, Susan C., and Scott, Joan W., “Introduction: The Concept of Gender,” Daedalus 116 (1987): xxii: “Recent social theory has led us to see that changes in the family in early modern and modern Europe did not neatly coincide with changes in the forms of government, economic organization, or religious practice.”

30. In early Christian texts pertaining to women that I have studied, “class” (in the sense of money and status, differently configured in antiquity than later) often reigns supreme: see various essays in my Jerome, Chrysostom, and Friends: Essays and Translations, Studies in Women and Religion 1 (New York: Edwin Mellen, 1979) and The Life of Melania the Younger: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, Studies in Women and Religion 14 (New York: Edwin Mellen, 1984). The aristocratic associations of women religious continues into the early Middle Ages; see Jane Tibbetts Schulenburg's interesting observations on how biographers of women saints tried to make them “classless” (“Saints’ Lives as a Source for the History of Women, 500–1100,” in Medieval Women and the Sources of Medieval History, ed. Rosenthal, Joel T. [Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 1990], 287). For historians of the later Middle Ages, more could be known about those whose status was less than aristocratic. See, for example, Oliva, Marilyn, “Aristocracy or Meritocracy? Office-Holding Patterns in Late Medieval English Nunneries,” in Women in the Church, 197–208.

31. Ford, Caroline, “Female Martyrdom and the Politics of Sainthood in Nineteenth-Century France: The Cult of Sainte Philomène,” in Catholicism in Britain and France Since 1789, eds. Tallett, Frank and Atkin, Nicholas (London: Hambledon, 1996), 115–34.

32. McMillan, James F., “Reclaiming a Martyr: French Catholics and the Cult of Joan of Arc, 1890–1920,” in Martyrs and Martyrologies, ed. Wood, Diana (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993), 359–70.

33. Pope, Barbara Corrado, “Immaculate and Powerful: The Marian Revival in the Nineteenth Century,” in Immaculate and Powerful: The Female in Sacred Image and Social Reality, eds. Atkinson, Clarissa W., Buchanan, Constance H., and Miles, Margaret R. (Boston: Beacon, 1985), 173200.

34. Thus Judith Bennett calls historians to engage in studies of the workings of patriarchy throughout history—how it “adapted, changed, and survived over time and place. Women have a large part to play in this historical study of patriarchy, not merely as victims, but also as agents” (“Feminism and History,” 262–63).

35. Lierheimer, Linda, “Preaching or Teaching? Defining the Ursuline Mission in Seventeenth-Century France,” in Women Preachers and Prophets through Two Millennia of Christianity, eds. Kienzle, Beverly Mayne and Walker, Pamela J. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 212–26, esp. 213.

36. Vogt, Peter, “A Voice for Themselves: Women as Participants in Congregational Discourse in the Eighteenth-Century Moravian Movement,” in Women Preachers and Prophets, 234–35.Also see King's, Karen L. comments (“Voices of the Spirit: Exercising Power, Embracing Responsibility”) along this line in the same volume, 339. Likewise, medieval Christian mystics engaged in practices that “pushed back the boundaries of male-defined spirituality” while still accepting “male-defined controls,” to cite Grace Jantzen's study of Christian mysticism.See Jantzen, Grace M., Power, Gender and Christian Mysticism, Cambridge Studies in Ideology and Religion 8 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 160, although Jantzen largely stresses male attempts to control expressions of women's mystical spirituality.

37. See above, n. 11, for bibliographical information.

38. To be sure, re-periodizing human (and especially Western) history with a view to women's fate is not a recent preoccupation. From different perspectives, nineteenthcentury writers such as Sarah Hale, best-known as editor of the Godey's Lady's Book, and J. J. Bachofen offered their varying imaginative reconstructions; see Hale, Sarah, Woman's Record (2d ed., New York: Harper & Brothers, 1855), discussed in Baym, Nina, “Onward Christian Women: Sarah J. Hale's History of the World,” New England Quarterly 63 (1990): 249–70 (the narrative is one of women's progress under the influence of Christianity, culminating in contemporary America);Bachofen, J. J., Myth, Religion, and Mother Right: Selected Writings of J. J. Bachofen (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967; translation of the 1927 German original, Mutterrecht und Urreligion, the story of primitive matriarchy's downfall).

39. King, Karen L., “Prophetic Power and Women's Authority: The Case of the Gospel of Mary (Magdalene)/” in Women Preachers and Prophets, 32–33. For a recent attempt to address the question of periodization from late antiquity to the Middle Ages, see Smith, Julia M. H., “ Did Women Have a Transformation of the Roman World?” Gender & History 12 (2000): 552–71.

40. Atkinson, Colin and Atkinson, Jo B., “Subordinating Women: Thomas Bentley's Use of Biblical Women in ‘The Monument of Matrones’ (1582),” Church History 60 (1992): 298–99.

41 See, for example, the essays of Moxey, Keith, “The Battle of the Sexes and the World Upside Down,”and of Head, Thomas, “The Religion of the Femmelettes: Ideals and Experience among Women in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century France,” in That Gentle Strength: Historical Perspectives on Women in Christianity, eds. Coon, Lynda L., Haldane, Katherine J., and Sommer, Elizabeth W. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1990), 134–48 and 149–75, respectively.

42. Roper, , Oedipus and the Devil, 5.

43. Nelson, Janet L., “Women and the Word in the Earlier Middle Ages,” 76–78 (in an effort to mark more deeply the boundaries between clergy and laity, the line between women and men was more sharply policed);Elliott, Dyan, “The Priest's Wife: Female Erasure and the Gregorian Reform,” in Elliott, , Fallen Bodies: Pollution, Sexuality, & Demonology in the Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 80106. Conrad Leyser cautions, however, against imagining that misogynist texts map on to social reality; in his view, the Reform movement can be seen as a contest between male religious specialists, using women to “think with” (“Custom, Truth, and Gender in Eleventh-Century Reform,” in Gender and Christian Religion, 75–91, esp. 82–83, 87, 90–91.

44. McNamara, Jo Ann, “The Herrenfrage: The Restructuring of the Gender System, 1050–1150,” in Medieval Masculinities: Regarding Men in the Middle Ages, ed. Lees, Clare A., Medieval Cultures 7 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 5, 7;see McNamara, , “The Need to Give,” 204, 221. McNamara plans a book that will reperiodize late antiquity and the early Middle Ages. In her broader scheme, women gained status, compared to their previous and subsequent statuses, in the period between the demise of the Roman Republic and the era of the Gregorian Reform. Private conversation with McNamara, 8 July 2000.

45. The phrase is Hanawalt's, Barbara A., “Golden Ages for the History of Medieval English Women,” in Women in Medieval History and Historiography, 17.

46. Some of the earlier writings by Rosemary Radford Ruether, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, and myself elaborated this scheme, which became common.

47. See, for example, Hassan, Riffat, “Feminism in Islam,” in Feminism and World Religions, eds. Sharma, Arvind and Young, Katherine K. (Albany: SUNY Press, 1999), 248–78;Smith, Jane I., “Women, Religion and Social Change in Early Islam,” in Women, Religion, and Social Change, 1935. A helpful overview of the varied “historiographies” of early Islam's approach to women can be found in Judith Tucker, “Gender and Islamic History,” in Islamic & European Expansion: The Forging of a Global Order, ed. Adas, Michael (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993), 3773, and in Ahmed, Leila, Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), part II; Ahmed is particularly keen to note the political uses to which discussions of women's place in Islam have been put (see, for example, 166, 237, 243).

48. Lopez, Donald, private conversation, 23 July 2000.

49. For example, see Schuster, Nancy, “Striking a Balance: Women and Images of Women in Early Chinese Buddhism,” in Women, Religion, and Social Change, esp. 103.

50. See the excellent studies and critiques by Falk, Nancy, “Gender and the Contest over the Indian Past,” Religion 28 (1998): 309–18;Chakravarti, Uma, “Whatever Happened to the Vedic Dasi? Orientalism, Nationalism and a Script for the Past,” in Recasting Women, 2787;and Mani, Lata, “Contentious Traditions,” esp. 111–14 (those working for the abolition of sati in the nineteenth century privileged more ancient texts to enable “the belief that Hindu society had fallen from a prior Golden Age” [111]). These studies on India are informed by a more sophisticated approach to the intersections of politics, women, religion, and postcolonial theory than most others I have read. For an example of an author who accepts the “devolution” theme in Indian religion, see Banks, Ellen Findly, “Gargi at the King's Court: Women and Philosophic Innovation in Ancient India,” in Women, Religion and Social Change, 3841; for example, 38: The Vedic period was “an era of unsurpassed advantage and opportunity for women.”

51. See, for example, Meyers, Carol, “Gender Roles and Genesis 3:16 Revisited,” in The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth, eds. Meyers, Carol and O'Connor, M. (Philadelphia: Oriental Schools of Research, 1983), 337–54;idem, “Procreation, Production, and Protection: Male-Female Balance in Early Israel,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 51 (1983): 569–93.

52. King, , “Voices of the Spirit,” 340.

53. See the classic essay by Swidler, Leonard, “Jesus Was a Feminist,” Catholic World 212 (1971): 177–83; and the also classic response from Plaskow, Judith, “Blaming the Jews for Inventing Patriarchy,” Lilith 7 (1980): 1112; and idem, “Anti-Judaism in Feminist Christian Interpretation,” in Searching the Scriptures. Vol. I: A Feminist Introduction, ed. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (New York: Crossroad, 1993), 117–29. Kraemer, Ross S. notes that some Christian scholars (especially feminists) “have had considerable interest in painting a particularly gloomy portrait of Jewish women's participation in Jewish life at the time of Jesus, so that Jesus himself can be seen as a first-century liberator of women” (“Jewish Women and Christian Origins,” in Women & Christian Origins, eds. Kraemer, Ross Shephard and D'Angelo, Mary Rose [New York: Oxford University Press, 1999], 35).

54. Falk, , “Gender and the Contest over the Indian Past,” 312;Chakravarti, , “Whatever Happened to the Vedic Dasi?” 38, 55–56. If Christian feminists gave up the appeal to “origins” as foundational for their views, would they be any the worse for their renunciation? Or is Christian tradition so rooted in historical explanation that any move to renounce the search for historical foundations would necessarily be counted as a blasphemous misrepresentation? Here, it is tempting to reflect on Rita Gross's observation that such historical questions are not so important for Buddhist feminists as for Christian ones “because history is neither exemplary nor normative for Buddhists.”See Gross, Rita M., “Strategies for a Feminist Revalorization of Buddhism,” in Feminism and World Religions, 84.

55. For Islam, see Moallem, Minoo, “Transnationalism, Feminism, and Fundamentalism,” in Between Woman and Nation: Nationalisms, Transnational Feminisms, and the State, eds. Alarcón, Norma, Caplan, Karen, and Moallem, Minoo (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999), 334;on Protestant fundamentalism, see Balmer, Randall, “American Fundamentalism: The Ideal of Femininity,” in Fundamentalism and Gender, esp. 53.

56. Donaldson, Laura E., “On Medicine Women and White Shame-ans: New Age Native Americanism and Commodity Fetishism as Pop Culture Feminism,” Signs 24 (1999): 677–96.

57. A good critique by archeologists Tringham, Ruth and Conkey, Margaret is “Rethinking Figurines: A Critical View from Archaeology of Gimbutas, the ‘Goddess’ and Popular Culture,” in Ancient Goddesses: The Myths and the Evidence, eds. Goodison, Lucy and Morris, Christine (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998), 2245, 197–202. Now see Eller, Cynthia, The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future (Boston: Beacon, 2000), esp. chaps. 6, 7, and 9. Also see the critique by classicist Foley, Helene P., “A Question of Origins: Goddess Cults Greek and Modern,” Women's Studies 23 (1994): 193215.

58. Chakravarti, , “Whatever Happened to the Vedic Dasi?” 78. The phrase “the invention of tradition,” as she acknowledges, comes from Eric Hobsbawm; see chaps. 1 and 7 in The Invention of Tradition, eds. Hobsbawm, and Ranger, Terence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983); and his interesting earlier essay, The Social Function of the Past: Some Questions,” Past and Present 55 (1972): 316.

59. Hall, Catherine, “A Jamaica of the Mind: Gender, Colonialism, and the Missionary Venture,” in Gender and Christian Religion, 361–90.Also see Steinberg's, Jonah exploration of how the Modern Orthodox movement within Judaism has recast the rabbinic and medieval Jewish past by proclaiming that niddah had not to do with menstrual impurity, but allows couples to enjoy “an eternally renewing honeymoon,” stands as another nice example of the mythic recasting of tradition for purposes of present edification; see Steinberg, , “From a ‘Pot of Filth’ to a ‘Hedge of Roses’ (and Back): Changing Theorizations of Menstruation in Judaism,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 13 (1997): 526.

60. King, Ursula, “Introduction,” 19–20. Also see O'Connor, June, “The Epistemological Significance of Feminist Research in Religion,” in Religion and Gender, 57.

61. Scott, Joan W., “The Evidence of Experience,” Critical Inquiry 17 (1991): 787.

62. Scott, Joan W., “The Evidence of Experience,” Critical Inquiry 17 (1991): 780, 786.

63. Scott, especially emphasizes this problem in regard to historian E. P. Thompson's book, The Making of the English Working Class; although “experience” is introduced as a category for historical analysis, the “experiences” were all of men (“The Evidence of Experience,” 784–85).

64. For example, Mohanty, Chandra Talpade, “Feminist Encounters: Locating the Politics of Experience,” in Destabilizing Theory: Contemporary Debates, eds. Barrett, Michéle and Phillips, Anne (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992), 27 (original essay in Copyright 1 [1988]: 30–44). For similar critiques from those working in women's studies in religion, see, for example, Devaney, Sheila Greeve, “The Limits of the Appeal to Women's Experience,” in Shaping New Vision: Gender and Values in American Culture, eds. Atkinson, Clarissa W., Buchanan, Constance H., and Miles, Margaret R. (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1987), 32;Castelli, Elizabeth A., “Heteroglossia, Hermeneutics, and History: A Review Essay of Recent Feminist Studies of Early Christianity,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 19 (1994): 77.

65. Scott, , “The Evidence of Experience,” 777.

66. Scott, , “The Evidence of Experience,” 778–79. And as historian Denise Riley pointedly reminds scholars who celebrate “women's experience,” those “experiences” are not likely to be the result of “womanhood alone, but [exist] as traces of domination” (“Am I That Name?” Feminism and the Category of “Women” in History [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988], 99).

67. Scott, , “The Evidence of Experience,” 797.

68. Scott's summary of Riley's book, “Am I That Name?” in Scott, “The Evidence of Experience,” 777.

69. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.

70. New York: Zone Books, 1991.

71. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.

72. Brown, , The Body and Society, esp. chap. 1;idem, “The Notion of Virginity in the Early Church,” Christian Spirituality: Origins to the Twelfth Century, eds. Bernard McGinn, John Meyendorff, and Jean Leclercq, World Spirituality 16 (New York: Crossroad, 1986), 429, 430, 436.

73. Douglas, Mary, Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology (New York: Pantheon Books, 1970). Also see the warning to historians against effacing “the material praxis of people's lives” in Bordo, Susan, “‘Material Girl’: The Effacements of Postmodern Culture,” in Negotiating at the Margins: The Gendered Discourses of Power and Resistance, eds. Fisher, Sue and Davis, Kathy (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1993), esp. 314. Bordo here warns against what she calls “a new inscription of mind/body dualism. What the body does is immaterial, so long as the imagination is free.”

74. Especially Foucault's Discipline and Punish, The Birth of the Prison, and the volumes of The History of Sexuality.

75. See discussion in Grosz, Elizabeth, “Conclusion: A Note on Essentialism and Difference,” in Feminist Knowledge: Critique and Construct, ed. Gunew, Sneja (London: Routledge, 1990), 338; and Smith, Paul, Discerning the Subject, Theory and History of Literature 55 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), 142–47.Scholars of French feminism now often point out that for theorists such as Irigaray and Cixous, “the body” means “the written body.” Moreover, it is helpful to recall that some French feminist writing emerged from an intellectual culture that had privileged a psychoanalytic understanding of the female as “lack”; over against this, French feminists reacted by emphasizing the “positivity” of the female, especially the maternal, body.

76. Foley, , “A Question of Origins,” 199 (critiquing some recent exaltations of “the Goddess”).See Joy, Morny, “God and Gender: Some Reflections on Women's Invocations of the Divine,” in Religion and Gender, 137: the most problematic idealization of “women's experience” lies in the appeal to “the Goddess.”

77. Weedon, Chris, Feminism, Theory and the Politics of Difference (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999), 102.

78. Published as Studies in Spirituality and Theology, vol. 1 (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995).

79. Hollywood, The Soul as Virgin Wife, 5.

80. Hollywood, The Soul as Virgin Wife, 24.

81. Hollywood, The Soul as Virgin Wife, 26, 35. She urges close attention to the genre in which accounts of women are written, differentiating male-authored hagiographies from the theologies that Mechthild and Marguerite produced. In Mechthild's text, “the will increasingly displaces the body as an adversary who must be quelled, closed off, and reshaped through ascetic acts” (86). Hollywood faults scholars for not noting the strong distinction between hagiographies of women by men and works such as the ones that Hollywood here studies (27–31). Hollywood's interest in apophatic mysticism (for example, 24), prompted her further study of Luce Irigaray's link to this tradition: Deconstructing Belief: Irigaray and the Philosophy of Religion,” Journal of Religion 78 (1998): 230–45.

82. Hollywood, The Soul as Virgin Wife, esp. 50.

83. Yet historian Lyndal Roper, reacting to what she considers “an excessive emphasis on the cultural creation of subjectivity” in recent historical writing, urges historians to a reconsideration of the body, understood in all its physicality; see Roper, Oedipus and the Devil, 3, 4, 17, 21.

84. This argument has been advanced especially by Torjesen, Karen Jo; see her When Women Were Priests, chaps. 4–6 and her essay “Reconstruction of Women's Early Christian History,” in Searching the Scriptures, chap. 19.

85. Stuard, Susan Mosher, “A New Dimension? North American Scholars Contribute Their Perspective,” in Women in Medieval History and Historiography, 94.

86. Osiek, , “Women in House Churches,” 302–3. Simply because women were not addressed in public settings (as recorded in literary texts), she notes, “does not mean that they were not there”; that women were indeed active in business and the professions suggests that that the “social invisibility” accorded women in many ancient texts should not be interpreted as “actual invisibility.” Also note Charlotte Methuen's critique of the other assumption that church space is “public”: the issue is not that “the Church should act as a proper public institution, but that it should represent the right kind of household with the right kind of social roles” (“‘For Pagans Laugh to Hear Women Teach,’” 34).

87. Nelson, , “Women and the Word in the Earlier Middle Ages,” 74.

88. Nelson, Janet L., “The ProblemaUc in the Private,” Social History 15 (1990): 355, 363–64.Her views reinforce those earlier voiced by Kelly, Joan: in the Middle Ages, the family order was a public order (“The Social Relation of the Sexes,” 14).

89. Yet the public /private distinction can be questioned by scholars of Italian Renaissance/early modern history. See, for example, Chittolini, Giorgio, “The ‘Private,’ the ‘Public,’ the State,” in The Origins of the State in Italy 1300–1600, ed. Kirschner, Julius (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 3461; and Chojnacki, Stanley, “Daughters and Oligarchs: Gender and the Early Renaissance State,” in Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy, eds. Brown, Judith C. and Davis, Robert C. (London: Longman, 1998), 6386). Also see Kerber's, Linda fascinating discussion of the ways that the trope of “separate spheres” has been deployed by commentators and historians since the time of De Tocqueville: “Separate Spheres, Female Worlds, Woman's Place: The Rhetoric of Women's History,” Journal of American History 75 (1988): 939.

90. Pagels, Elaine, The Gnostic Gospels (New York: Random House, 1979), chap. 3;King, Karen L., ed., Images of Women in Gnosticism, (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988);Kraemer, Ross Shepard, Her Share of the Blessings: Women's Religion among Pagans, Jews, and Christians in the Greco-Roman World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), chap. 11 (“Heresy as Women's Religion: Women's Religion as Heresy”);Trevett, Christine, “Gender, Authority and Church History: A Case Study of Montanism,” Feminist Theology 17 (1998): 924;Jensen, , God's Self-Confident Daughters, 133–82 (on Montanist women); Virginia Burrus, The Making of a Heretic: Gender, Authority, and the Priscillianist Controversy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), passim;Clark, Elizabeth A., “Elite Networks and Heresy Accusations: Towards a Social Description of the Origenist Controversy,” Semeia 56 (1991): 81117.

91. See Abels, Richard and Harrison, Ellen, “Participation of Women in Languedocian Catharism,” Medieval Studies 41 (1979): 215–51;Brenon, Anne, “The Voice of the Good Women: An Essay on the Pastoral and Sacerdotal Role of Women in the Cathar Church,” in Women Preachers and Prophets, 114–33; see also her book, Les Cathars: Vie et mart d'une églisle chrétienne (Paris: J. Grancher, 1996).

92. McDonnell, Ernest W., The Beguines and Beghards in Medieval Culture (New York: Octagon, 1969; 1st ed., 1953). For selections from Beguine literature, see Petroff, Elizabeth Alvilda, ed., Medieval Women's Visionary Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), chaps. 4, 5, and 7.For extended discussions of the theology of Beguines Mechthild of Magdeburg and Marguerite Porete, see Hollywood, The Soul as Virgin Bride, chaps. 3 and 4. Jantzen, Power, Gender and Christian Mysticism, emphasizes the dangers incurred by women mystics from charges of “heresy” (chap. 7 and 325–27).

93. Trevor-Roper, Hugh, “Witches and Witchcraft: An Historical Essay,” Encounter 28, 5 (1967): 325 and 28, 6 (1967): 13–34; also see his The European Witch-Craze of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin, 1969). Among the numerous studies are Barstow, Anne Llewellyn, Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994);Ankarloo, Bengt and Henningsen, Gustav, eds., Early Modern European Witchcraft: Centers and Peripheries (Oxford: Clarendon, 1990);Roper, , Oedipus and the Devil, part III. For other studies, see notes in Clark, Elizabeth A. and Richardson, Herbert, eds., Women and Religion (rev. ed.; San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996), 351–54.

94. Whitney, Elspeth, “The Witch ‘She’/The Historian ‘He’: Gender and the Historiography of the European Witch Hunts,” Journal of Women's History 7 (1995): esp. 86.

95. Peters, Kate, “‘Women's Speaking Justified’: Women and Discipline in the Early Quaker Movement,” in Gender and Christian Religion, 227 (the London gutter-press accused Quaker women of sexual depravity).

96. Walker, Pamela J., “A Chaste and Fervid Eloquence: Catherine Booth and the Ministry of Women in the Salvation Army,” in Women Preachers and Prophets, 297–98.

97. Walker, Pamela J., “A Chaste and Fervid Eloquence,” 298.

98. Burrus, Virginia, “The Heretical Woman as Symbol in Alexander, Athanasius, Epiphanius, and Jerome,” Harvard Theological Review 83 (1991): 229–48;idem, “‘Equipped for Victory’: Ambrose and the Gendering of Orthodoxy,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 4 (1996): 461–76.

99. See Elliott, , Fallen Bodies, chap. 4 and 118, 160. For an analysis of the phenomenon that emphasizes the side of rhetoric, see Leyser, “Custom, Truth, and Gender in Eleventh-Century Reform.”

100. Bock, Gisela, “Women's History and Gender History: Aspects of an International Debate,” Gender & History 1 (1989): 11, 14, 17.For Bock, women's history and gender history (here elided) attempt to render visible “the concrete, manifold and changing forms of women's and men's bodily experience, activity, and representation.” That “gender studies” is often taken to mean “women's studies” is also noted by Ursula King, in her “Introduction: Gender and the Study of Religion,” 4–5, 30; likewise Susan Mosher Stuard, “Fashion's Captives: Medieval Women in French Historiography,” in Women in Medieval History and Historiography, 71.

101. Bock, , “Women's History and Gender History,” 18. As one example, Bock argued that the history of religions remained “incomprehensible” if treated as a “gender-neutral” field of study (21).

102. Haraway, Donna J., “‘Gender’ for a Marxist Dictionary,” in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York: Routledge, 1991; German original, 1987), 132—a distinction that Haraway claims goes back to Marx's and Engels's inability to historicize the man/woman relation.

103. Haraway's succinct analysis of Rubin, “‘Gender’,” 137 (Rubin would doubtless add, “men's sexual needs”). See Rubin, Gayle, “The Traffic in Women,” in Toward an Anthropology of Women, ed. Reiter, Rayna Rapp (New York: Monthly Review, 1975), 157210. Rubin's thesis was overtly political: “At the most general level, the social organization of sex rests upon gender, obligatory heterosexuality, and the constraint of female sexuality” (179).

104. Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky, “Gender Criticism,” in Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies, eds. Greenblatt, Stephen and Gunn, Giles (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1992), 274.

105. The history of this discussion is well reviewed in Haraway, “‘Gender’,” 137–46.

106. Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge, 1990), esp. chap. 1.

107. Butler, Gender Trouble, 7.

108. Butler, Gender Trouble, 140.

109. Sedgwick, “Gender Criticism,” 273.

110. Sedgwick, “Gender Criticism,” 293.

111. Scott, “Gender,” 1053, 1054.

112. Scott, “Gender,” 1063, 1066.

113. Scott, “Gender,” 1067, 1070.

114. Scott, “Gender,” 1073. The concepts of “man” and “woman” are both empty and overflowing categories—“[e]mpty because they have no ultimate, transcendent meaning. Overflowing because even when they appear to be fixed, they still contain within them alternative, denied, or suppressed definitions” (1074).

115. Stansell, Christine, “A Response to Joan Scott,” International Labor and Working-Class History 31 (1987): 29.

116. Bock, , “Women's History and Gender History,” 16.

117. Poovey, Mary, “Recent Studies of Gender,” Modern Philology 88 (1991): 420.

118. Koonz, Claudia, “Post Scripts,” The Women's Review of Books 6 (1989): 19.Historian Christine Stansell complained, “While we were occupied with realigning social history with formal politics, the edge of speculation has moved away from the nature of society to the nature of knowing; experience lost out to epistemology … the franchise on the big questions … has gone to the literati” (“A Response to Joan Scott,” 25). Even the history of sexuality, Lyndal Roper objected, should not be reduced to a “linguistic taxonomy” (Oedipus and the Devil, 160). Feminist historian Claudia Koonz pointedly asked, “[a]re political battles to be won or lost on the field of discourse?” (“Post Scripts,” 20).

119. I thank Amy Hollywood for stressing this point in her response to an earlier version of this paper delivered at “Congress 2000: The Future of the Study of Religion,” Boston University, 14 September 2000.

120. Scott, “Evidence/’ 792–93.

121. Scott, Joan Wallach, “‘L'ouvriere! Mot impie, sordide…’: Women Workers in the Discourse of French Political Economy, 1840–1860,” in Scott, Gender and the Politics of History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), 162.

122. Scott, Joan Wallach, “Introduction,” in Gender and the Politics of History, 4.

123. Scott, Joan Wallach, “Women's History,” in Gender and the Politics of History, 27 (an original version of this essay appeared in Past and Present 101 [1983]: 141–57). Nor does moving from a more “objective,” analytical view of history to one that holds history to be an interpretive practice mean that standards are being abandoned, since the community of historians shares “a commitment to accuracy and to procedures of verification and documentation,” although the latter are themselves open to debate and to change (Scott, Joan Wallach, “AHR Forum: History in Crisis? The Others’ Side of the Story,” American Historical Review 94 [1989]: 690).

124. Weedon, , Feminism, Theory and the Politics of Difference, 107.

125. Scott, , “AHR Forum: History in Crisis?” 690.

126. Bennett, , “Feminism and History,” 258. In this citation, Bennett (writing ca. 1988) does not yet fully register the newer, discursive understandings of “gender” as used by Scott.

127. I thank Barbara Harris of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's department of history for helping to clarify this point for me.

128. Borresen, Kari, a scholar of women in Christian history and theology, is one of the few who outrightly rejects the sex/gender distinction on which much earlier women's scholarship was based. Blaming the prevalence of the distinction on social scientists, she believes that the “sharp distinction between sex as biologically determined and gender as culturally constructed” is simply “a relic of androcentrism in asexual disguise.” Labeling her own approach more “holistic,” she argues that “gender” should mean both “psycho-physical sex” and “socio-cultural [constructed] gender.” Her own work, however, does not appear to replicate Judith Butler's argument, that is, that sex as well as gender should be considered a “performance.” See Borresen, Kari Elisabeth, “Women's Studies of the Christian Tradition: New Perspectives,” in Religion and Gender, 246–47;idem, “Recent and Current Research on Women in the Christian Tradition,” Studia Patristica (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur) 29 (1997): 224. Børresen's larger project, however, is to trace the intellectual history of the notion of the “imago Dei” in Christian theology; see Børresen, Kari Elisabeth, ed., The Image of God: Gender Models in Judaeo-Christian Tradition (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995).

129. Frantzen, “When Women Aren't Enough,” 451.

130. Boyd, Stephen B., Longwood, W. Merle, and Muesse, Mark W., eds., Redeeming Men: Religion and Masculinities (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996).

131. Boyd, et al. , Redeeming Men, xiii–xiv, citing Brod, “The Case for Men's Studies,” in The Making of Masculinities: The New Men's Studies, ed. Brod, Harry (Winchester, Mass.: George Allen & Unwin, 1987), 40.

132. Kirkley, Evelyn A., “Is It Manly To Be Christian? The Debate in Victorian and Modern America,” in Redeeming Men, esp. 80–83.

133. Fout, John C., “Policing Gender: Moral Purity Movements in Pre-Nazi Germany and Contemporary America,” in Redeeming Men, 104. Also see Fout's, longer study of the topic in the Journal of Men's Studies 1 (1992): 531.

134. For example, Leyser, Conrad, “Masculinity in Flux: Nocturnal Emission and the Limits of Celibacy in the Early Middle Ages”;Nelson, Janet L., “Monks, Secular Men and Masculinity, c. 900”;Balzaretti, Ross, “Men and Sex in Tenth-century Italy”;Swanson, Robert N., “Clergy and Masculinity from Gregorian Reform to Reformation”;Cullum, Patricia H., “Clergy, Masculinity and Transgression in Late Medieval England,” all in Masculinity in Medieval Europe, ed. Hadley, D. M. (London: Longman, 1999), 103–96.

135. Boyarin, Daniel, Unheroic Conduct and the Rise of Heterosexuality: The Invention of the Jewish Man (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997);Satlow, Michael L., “Try To Be a Man': The Rabbinic Construction of Masculinity,” Harvard Theological Review 89 (1996): 1940;idem, “Jewish Constructions of Nakedness in Late Antiquity,” Journal of Biblical Literature 116 (1997): 429–54; Eilberg-Schwartz, Howard, God's Phallus and Other Problems for Men and Monotheism (Boston: Beacon, 1994).

136. McNamara, , “The Herrenfrage,” esp. 3–8.

137. Burrus, Virginia, “Begotten, Not Made”: Conceiving Manhood in Late Antiquity (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000).

138. Burrus, , “Begotten, Not Made,” 3.

139. Burrus, , “Begotten, Not Made,” 5. But divine “transcendence,” too, was masculinized: the symbolization of the doctrine of the Trinity, Burrus argues, entails “a radical suppression of materiality … accompanied by an explicit masculinization of the constructed ‘self,’ articulated in the theological terms of a motherless patriliny” (185, 57).

140. Burrus, , “Begotten, Not Made,” 190.

141. Provocatively developed by Nelson, Janet in “Women and the Word in the Earlier Middle Ages,” 58–59 and n. 20. On the one hand, we should ask, “For whom was it good to think?”; on the other, we should reflect on the translation of the phrase, for “bonnes a penser” can also mean “goods to think” (that is, “women as property”). In a forthcoming essay, Shelly Matthews correctly stresses that Lévi-Strauss meant more than that woman was “a sign in the text.” She quotes his caveat, that women are not to be reduced to “pure sign,” as phonemes and words are:“ [f]or words do not speak, while women do; as producers of signs, women can never be reduced to the status of symbols or tokens”(Levi-Strauss, Claude, Structural Anthropology [New York: Basic Books, 1963], 61,cited in Matthews, , “Thinking With Thecla: Issues in Feminist Historiography,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 17 (2001, forthcoming). Lévi-Strauss appears to react to allegations that his notion of the “exchange of women” in his Les Structures élémentaire de la parenté is “anti-feminist.”

142. See, for example, Smith, Julia M. H., “Gender and Ideology in the Early Middle Ages,” in Gender and the Christian Religion, 5173; and Leyser, “Custom, Truth, and Gender,” in the same volume, 75–91.

143. Leyser, “Custom, Truth, and Gender,” 91.

144. Strathern, Marilyn, “Marriage Exchanges: A Melanesian Comment,” Annual Review of Anthropology 13 (1984): 50.

145. Bynum, Caroline Walker, “‘ … And Woman His Humanity’: Female Imagery in the Religious Writing of the Later Middle Ages,” in Gender and Religion: On the Complexity of Symbols, 257288;idem, Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages, Publications for the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA, 16 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982); Coakley, John, “Gender and the Authority of the Friars: The Significance of Holy Women for Thirteenth-Century Franciscans and Dominicans,” Church History 60 (1991): 445–60;idem, “Friars, Sanctity, and Gender: Mendicant Encounters with Saints, 1250–1325,” in Medieval Masculinities, 91–110.

146. Malamud, Margaret, “Gender and Spiritual Self-Fashioning: The Master-Disciple Relationship in Classical Sufism,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 64 (1996): esp. 101–2: when female imagery was applied to the disciples, it betokened their “dependence and subordination,” but when applied to the master, it suggested creative and nurturing powers.

147. Jay, Nancy, “Sacrifice as Remedy for Having Been Born of Woman,” in Immaculate and Powerful, 283309.

148. Mani, “Contentious Traditions,” 90, 118. Mani writes, “Tradition was thus not the ground on which the status of women was being contested. Rather the reverse was true: women in fact became the site on which tradition was debated and reformulated. What was at stake was not women but tradition” (118). Or in one last example, how female characters in religious literature could be used to introduce novel ways of thinking about philosophy, as in the story of Gargi at the king's court in the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad;see Findly, in “Gargi at the King's Court,” in Women, Religion and Social Change, esp. 38, 45.

149. Scott, “Gender,” 1069, 1073, emphasizing that the nature of the process depends on its specific historical determination.

150. Cameron, Averil, “Sacred and Profane Love: Thoughts on Byzantine Gender,” in Women, Men and Eunuchs, 17.

151. Another essay that also falls into this category is by art historian Brubaker, Leslie and is entitled, “Memories of Helena: Patterns in Imperial Female Matronage in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries” (in Women, Men and Eunuchs, 5275). Helena, the Emperor Constantine's mother, was of course a “real woman,” and she is credited with the extravagant patronage (or Brubaker prefers, “matronage”) of building projects that secured the church's presence in the Holy Land and elsewhere in the early fourth century. As Brubaker documents, until the mid-fifth century, monuments were commissioned (often by women) that imitated Helena's activities and honored her contributions to the church. But thereafter, imperial women, doubtless stimulated by ecclesiastical decrees honoring the Virgin Mary as the “Mother of God,” began increasingly to dedicate buildings and other monuments to the Virgin, a chief exemplar of the new ascetic ideal. Women had helped to construct “Helena” through their material projects, and now they apparently abandoned dedications to her, although “Helena-as-symbol” lived on into the Byzantine period. Brubaker asks “why?” and posits (provocatively if speculatively) that Helena's ideologically loaded exemplification as “upholder of traditional Roman social codes,” “the honour of men,” “commitment to family,” and “specific lineage claims” were values increasingly called into question as the highest “goods” of society. Brubaker's essay, I think, weds the strengths of “women's history” with those of “gender history” to good advantage.

152. Cooper, Kate, The Virgin and the Bride: Idealized Womanhood in Late Antiquity (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996).

153. Cooper, , The Virgin and the Bride, 4.

154. Cooper, , The Virgin and the Bride, 5–11.

155. Cooper, , The Virgin and the Bride, 5. A man's practice of sexual temperance—manifest in his harmonious, faithful relationship to a wife—was understood to signal “the selfcontrol of a male protagonist in matters other than the sexual” (11).

156. Cooper, , The Virgin and the Bride, 14, 82. See 16–17: Cooper aims “to chart the subversion of the rhetorical economy itself.”

157. Cooper, , The Virgin and the Bride, 85–86, 113.

158. Cooper, , The Virgin and the Bride, 147.

159. Likewise, , Cooper's essay, “Apostles, Ascetic Women, and Questions of Audience: New Reflections on the Rhetoric of Gender in the Apocryphal Acts” (Society of Biblical literature 1992 Seminar Papers [Atlanta: Scholars, 1992], 147–53), explores texts that, she argues, were “made-to-measure for rhetorical purposes” (149); the fight to win women for Christianity in the Apocryphal Acts is “not really about women,” but “represents a challenge to the social order” (151).

160. Chartier, Roger, Cultural History: Between Practices and Representations, trans. Cochrane, Lydia G. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988), 1314, 34.

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