From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Through a fascinating and in depth exploration of the role and status of women in Ancient Near Eastern cultures influencing the Biblical world, this book helps to distinguish cultural influences from the liberating gospel proclaimed by Jesus that still resounds today."--Eilene Theilig, Director of Lay and Continuing Education, Brite Divinity School, and former Galileo Mission Project Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Christianity faces a dilemma with regard to the status of women. Despite advances, female subordination remains a predominant social and religious paradigm in a number of modern cultures. Among Christians, the primary justification for patriarchy has been the story of Adam and Eve, along with seven key New Testament texts rooted in the notion that female subordination is the will of God.
This book provides a critical analysis of womanhood in the major cultures that formed the backdrop for the emergence of Christianity: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Judaism, Greece, Rome and the Mystery Cults. The author connects the subordination of women to slavery and other forms of social and political dominance that were taken for granted in the ancient world, and demonstrates their influence on various New Testament texts concerning the status of women in the home and church.
Looking at politics, economics, science, law and the arts, the contributors examine examples from around the ancient world asking how far traditional definitions of culture describe male spheres of activity, and examining to what extent these spheres were actually created and perpetuated by women.
Women’s Influence of Classical Civilization provides students with a valuable wider perspective on the roles and influence of women in the societies of the Greek and Roman worlds.