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Women & the Historical Jesus: Feminist Myths of Christian Origins [Paperback]

By Kathleen E. Corley (Author)
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Item description for Women & the Historical Jesus: Feminist Myths of Christian Origins by Kathleen E. Corley...

For decades scholars have argued that Jesus' teaching fostered inclusive communities and the full participation of women. Now Kathleen Corley challenges the assumption that Jesus himself fought patriarchal limitations on women. Rather the analysis of his authentic teaching suggests that while Jesus critiques class and slave/free distinctions in his culture, his critique did not extend to unequal gender distinctions. The presence of women among his disciples, she says, is explained on the basis of the presence of women among many Greco-Roman religions and philosophical groups, including the Judaism of Jesus' own day.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Polebridge Press
Pages   254
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 5.94" Height: 0.64"
Weight:   0.94 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2002
Publisher   Polebridge Press
ISBN  0944344933  
ISBN13  9780944344934  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kathleen E. Corley

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr. Kathleen E. Corley is Oshkosh Northwestern Distinguished Professor and Professor of New Testament at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Robert L. Webb lectures in the Religious Studies Department of McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. He is the executive editor of the "Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus" (Sage) and of the monograph series "Library of Historical Jesus Studies" (a subset of LNTS, T&T Clark). He is the author of "John the Baptizer and Prophet: A Socio-Historical Study" (Sheffield Academic Press, 1991) and more recently the co-editor with Kathleen Corley of "Jesus and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ: The Film, the Gospels, and the Claims of History" (Continuum, 2004) and with John Kloppenborg of "Reading James with New Eyes: Methodological Reassessments of the Letter of James" (T&T Clark, 2007).

Kathleen E. Corley was born in 1960.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Institutions & Organizations
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Jesus > Historical Jesus
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Feminist
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

Reviews - What do customers think about Women & the Historical Jesus: Feminist Myths of Christian Origins?

Not So Good...  Dec 3, 2006
Reading this book was drudgery. Corley's writing is fragmented, contradictory, and frustrating. This book has a whopping 64 pages of footnotes, yet there are places where information seems incomplete. She writes as if she has an axe to grind against someone... not sure whom. Just a general negative tone. I agree with the previous reviewer on all points. I do not recommend this book.
Not much Jesus and not much fun  Apr 27, 2003
In the first sentence of her acknowledgments Kathleen Corley writes that this book, "�is at the end of a long process of personal and professional struggle." Unfortunately, it is also a struggle to read this book. Of all the books I have read associated with the Jesus Seminar (I have not read them all) this is the nastiest in tone, the least informative about the historical Jesus and most lacking in humor.

Ms. Corley's massively footnoted book seems redundant in style. Nearly everything that she writes in one place she partially or completely contradicts in another place. It may be that Ms. Corley wanted to be comprehensive or even-handed, but she leaves the reader uncertain of many of her points. Her extensive criticism of Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza's classic In Memory of Her seems to center primarily on the idea that Ms. Fiorenza was too willing to consider the suggestion of others that Jesus' egalitarianism
and inclusion of women (although not unique) could be interpreted as something like feminism. Ms. Corley admits that Jesus was egalitarian and inclusive, but she argues that since he was not concerned about women as women and not as interested in challenging gender roles as in challenging social and economic inequity. Therefore Jesus should not be considered a feminist.

There are many speculations in the book for which she offers little or no evidence. There may be reason to believe that Greco-Roman culture saturated even rural Jewish Palestine.
There may be reason to believe that Jesus criticized reburial practices and not the patriarchal family structure. I did not find the reasons in this book.

I was struck by the negative tone of the book. For example, in every case where there was a dispute about the meaning of individual words the author favored the translation most demeaning to women. In reviewing the parables, Ms. Corley noted critically that women were depicted in traditional roles. Don't parables by design start in familiar, almost stereotypical fashion so that the twist at the end is even more shocking? If a parable started, "Mary, commander of the army�" would the listeners attend to the parable past that? Ms. Corley states that being forced to stay in marriages is, "worse for women than for men." In every case?

On the positive side I found the discussion of slavery interesting and informative. Ms. Corley make a strong and persuasive argument that author's trying to draw a distinction between Judaism and Christianity can easily end up distorting and short changing Judaism. Her suggestion that Mary might have been form a somewhat higher social class than Joseph was new to me and interesting.

Unfortunately, I can not recommend this book.


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