The Gendered Palimpsest: Women, Writing, and Representation in Early Christianity

Hardcover | November 25, 2011

byKim Haines-Eitzen

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Books and bodies, women and books, and the malleable word and flesh lie thematically at the center of The Gendered Palimpsest, which explores the roles that women played in the production, reproduction, and dissemination of early Christian books, and how the representation of female characterswas contested through the medium of writing and copying. The book is organized in two sections, the first of which treats historical questions: To what extent were women authors, scribes, book-lenders, and patrons of early Christian literature? How should we understand the representation of women readers in ascetic literature? The second section of thebook turns to text-critical questions: How and why were stories of women modified in the process of copying? And how did debates about asceticism - and, more specifically, the human body - find their way into the textual transmission of canonical and apocryphal literature? Throughout the book, Haines-Eitzen uses the notion of a palimpsest in its broadest sense to highlight the problems of representation, layering, erasure, and reinscription. In doing so, she provides a new dimension to the gendered history of early Christianity.

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Books and bodies, women and books, and the malleable word and flesh lie thematically at the center of The Gendered Palimpsest, which explores the roles that women played in the production, reproduction, and dissemination of early Christian books, and how the representation of female characterswas contested through the medium of writing...

Kim Haines-Eitzen's primary expertise is in early Christianity and early Judaism; she currently holds the H. Stanley Krusen Professorship of World Religions at Cornell University, where she is Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Studies and Director of the Religious Studies Program. She is the author of Guardians of Letters: Liter...

other books by Kim Haines-Eitzen

Format:HardcoverDimensions:214 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 0.91 inPublished:November 25, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195171292

ISBN - 13:9780195171297

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart One: Women Writing and Reading in Early Christianity and Late Antiquity1. Women Writing, Writing for Women: Authors, Scribes, Book-Lenders, and Patrons2. Reading, not Eating: Women Readers in Late Ancient Christian Asceticism3. Women's Literature? The Case of the Apocryphal Acts of the ApostlesPart Two: Sexual/Textual Politics and Late Ancient Asceticism4. Sinners and Saints, Silent and Submissive? The Textual/Sexual Transformation of Female Characters5. "First Among All Women": The Story of Thecla in Textual Transmission and Iconographic Remains6. Contesting the Ascetic Language of Eros: Textual Fluidity in the Apocryphal Acts of the ApostlesConclusionBibliography