The Cult of Saint Thecla: A Tradition of Womens Piety in Late Antiquity

Paperback | October 15, 2008

byStephen J. Davis

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Thecla, a disciple of the apostle Paul, became perhaps the most celebrated female saint and 'martyr' among Christians in late antiquity. In the early church, Thecla's example was associated with the piety of women - in particular, with women's ministry and travel. Devotion to Saint Theclaquickly spread throughout the Mediterranean world: her image was painted on walls of tombs, stamped on clay flasks and oil lamps, engraved on bronze crosses and wooden combs, and even woven into textile curtains. Bringing together literary, artistic, and archaeological evidence, often for the firsttime, Stephen Davis here reconstructs the cult of Saint Thecla in Asia Minor and Egypt - the social practices, institutions, and artefacts that marked the lives of actual devotees. From this evidence the author shows how the cult of this female saint remained closely linked with communities ofwomen as a source of empowerment and a cause of controversy.

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Thecla, a disciple of the apostle Paul, became perhaps the most celebrated female saint and 'martyr' among Christians in late antiquity. In the early church, Thecla's example was associated with the piety of women - in particular, with women's ministry and travel. Devotion to Saint Theclaquickly spread throughout the Mediterranean worl...

Stephen J. Davis is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.63 inPublished:October 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199548714

ISBN - 13:9780199548712

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Table of Contents

I: The Cult of St Thecla in Asia Minor1. Origins of the Thecla Cult2. The Cult of Thecla at Seleucia in Asia MinorII: The Cult of Saint Thecla in Egypt3. Thecla Devotion Among Ascetic Women in Alexandria4. Pilgrimage and the Cult of Saint Thecla in the Mareotis5. The Spread of Thecla Devotion Outside Alexandria and Its Environs