Women in Pastoral Office: The Story of Santa Prassede, Rome by Mary M. Schaefer

Women in Pastoral Office: The Story of Santa Prassede, Rome

byMary M. Schaefer

Hardcover | October 22, 2013

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Through a study of the church of Santa Prassede, Mary M. Schaefer offers a compelling examination of the 'golden ages' for women active in ecclesial ministries, critically measuring feminist claims and providing evidence contrary to the official Roman position that women have never beenordained in the Catholic Church. The ninth-century church of Santa Prassede has been studied intensively in recent years, yet no scholar has yet recognized the significance of the balanced male and female imagery: both men and women disciples, Peter and Paul as family friends, Praxedes and her sister as house church leaders in thepost-apostolic period assisted by bishop Pius I, and Pope Paschal's mother Theodora episcopa, for example. Praxedes' identification as 'presbytera' by a Roman priest-historian in 1655 and by the Benedictine prior of the church in 1725 prompts analysis of women's ordination rites in churches ofEast and West. Santa Prassede preserves one of the largest intact programs of church decoration in Rome up to 1200. Schaefer investigates its scriptural and liturgical sources, and, in turn, reexamines its foundation myth. With the story of the church, Schaefer provides a detailed study of women in pastoral office(especially diaconas, presbyteras, and episcopal abbesses) from the first through twelfth centuries in the West. Women in Pastoral Office also shows how the liturgy as well as the vita of Praxedes and her sister Pudentiana (whose fourth century church is located down the hill) shaped thisoutstanding commission of the builder, Pope Paschal I (817-824).

About The Author

Mary M. Schaefer is Professor (retired) of liturgy at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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Title:Women in Pastoral Office: The Story of Santa Prassede, RomeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:October 22, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199977623

ISBN - 13:9780199977628

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAbbreviations1. Saints, Setting and Context2. Iconography and Sources of S. Prassede's Decorative Cycles3. Women's Pastoral Offices in Churches Outside Rome4. Women's Pastoral Offices in the Church of Rome5. Ordination Rites: For Men Only? For Women Too6. A Second Look at Myth, History, and MonumentAfterwordBibliographyIndex