Desiring Conversion: Hermas, Thecla, Aseneth

Hardcover | December 17, 2010

byB. Diane Lipsett

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Self-restraint or self-mastery may appear to be the opposite of erotic desire. But in this nuanced, literary analysis, Diane Lipsett traces the intriguing interplay of desire and self-restraint in three ancient tales of conversion: The Shepherd of Hermas, the Acts of Paul and Thecla, andJoseph and Aseneth. Lipsett treats "conversion" - marked change in a protagonist's piety and identity - as in part an effect of story, a function of narrative textures, coherence, and closure. Her approach is theoretically versatile, drawing on Foucault, psychoanalytic theorists, and the ancientliterary critic Longinus. Well grounded in scholarship on Hermas, Thecla, and Aseneth, the closely paced readings sharpen attention to each story, while advancing discussions of ancient views of the self; of desire, masculinity, and virginity; of the cultural codes around marriage and continence;and of the textual energetics of conversion tales.

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Self-restraint or self-mastery may appear to be the opposite of erotic desire. But in this nuanced, literary analysis, Diane Lipsett traces the intriguing interplay of desire and self-restraint in three ancient tales of conversion: The Shepherd of Hermas, the Acts of Paul and Thecla, andJoseph and Aseneth. Lipsett treats "conversion"...

B. Diane Lipsett is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Wake Forest University School of Divinity.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:December 17, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199754519

ISBN - 13:9780199754519

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements1. Introduction2. Scrutinizing Desire: Hermas, Metanoia, and Manliness3. Thecla and the Apostle's Lure4. Aseneth and the Sublime Turn5. Conclusion: The Narrativity of Desire, Restraint, and ConversionBibliography