The Salvation of the Flesh in Tertullian of Carthage: Dressing for the Resurrection

Hardcover | September 15, 2011

byCarly Daniel-Hughes

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Why did the influential Christian thinker, Tertullian of Carthage (160-220 C.E.), while addressing the critical issue of salvation of the flesh, write about clothing? Why did he care what Christians wore? Carly Daniel-Hughes answers that in early Christian communities clothing tied to identity and theology. Placing Tertullian’s writings in the Roman culture of dress, she shows that in them men’s dress is used to envision Christian masculinity as non-Roman and anti-imperial. His concerns about women’s dress, however, reveal internal Christian debates about the nature of the flesh and the possibility of its transformation in to a resurrected, glorious body.

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Why did the influential Christian thinker, Tertullian of Carthage (160-220 C.E.), while addressing the critical issue of salvation of the flesh, write about clothing? Why did he care what Christians wore? Carly Daniel-Hughes answers that in early Christian communities clothing tied to identity and theology. Placing Tertullian’s writing...

Carly Daniel-Hughes is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Concordia University (Montreal). She currently serves as a committee member of the Greco-Roman Meals Group of the Society of Biblical Literature.

other books by Carly Daniel-Hughes

Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 8.6 × 5.75 × 0.65 inPublished:September 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230117732

ISBN - 13:9780230117730

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Table of Contents

Bodily Displays of Modesty: Or, How to Power Dress in the Roman World * The Clothing that Maketh the Christian Man: Tertullian’s On the Pallium * Why is She the “Devi’s Gateway”?:     Debating Adornment in Christian Carthage * Shaming the Virgins’ Flesh: Tertullian’s On the Veiling of Virgins

Editorial Reviews

“Carly Daniel-Hughes has decisively shown that Tertullian’s fascination with flesh, clothing and adornment expressed his deepest theological commitments. Far from frivolous or marginal, instructions regarding bodily comportment and dress were central to the performance of gendered identity, and not only for Tertullian. His frantic warnings about the dangers of unveiled virgins, his defense of the pallium, and his condemnations of cosmetics must therefore be taken seriously, as should this outstanding contribution to the study of ancient Christianity. Keenly observant, theoretically sophisticated and original, The Salvation of the Flesh is a must read for anyone interested in ancient Mediterranean religions, Roman history and gender studies.” --Jennifer Knust, Associate Professor of Religion, Boston University“For ancient Christians, the question of how to “dress for success” was a matter of gravest concern.  Life in this world was a preparation for the next, a honing of this mortal flesh into glorious resurrected bodies.  Carly Daniel Hughes’ brilliant and engagingly written new study shows how for believers, that transformation depended upon how one dressed in the here and now.  Focusing on a controversial theologian, Tertullian of Carthage, she brings vividly to life Christian debates set within the visual and moral worlds of ancient dress codes, showing how matters of dress—both then and now—can spark controversy even as they shape religious and gender identities.” --Karen L. King, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard University