This book reveals exciting early Christian evidence that Mary was remembered as a powerful role model for women leaders - women apostles, baptizers, and presiders at the ritual meal. Early Christian art portrays Mary and other women clergy serving as deacon, presbyter/priest, and bishop. In addition, the two oldest surviving artifacts to depict people at an altar table inside a real church depict women and men in a gender-parallel liturgy inside two of the most important churches in Christendom—Old Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome and the second Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Dr. Kateusz's research brings to light centuries of censorship, both ancient and modern, and debunks the modern imagination that from the beginning only men were apostles and clergy.
This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND). You can download Mary and Early Christian Women ebook for free in PDF format (12.7 MB).
Table of Contents
Background and Perspective
More Collyridian Déjà vu
Women Apostles: Preachers and Baptizers
Mary, High Priest and Bishop
Mother and Son, Paired
The Life of the Virgin and Its Antecedents
Women and Men at the Last Supper: Reception
Modes of Silencing the Past
Notes, Abbreviations, and References
Religion and Spirituality
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