Women and the Legacy of Paul



I examine how Paul's letters and their teaching concerning women were read and interpreted in the first Christian centuries. I presume that different authors used Paul's authority to justify quite divergent ways of life: virginity, celibacy, marriage and motherhood, women's submission to men and women's leadership roles. I propose that some of the texts that today tend to be read from the perspective of gender equality were perceived differently in the early church. An important methodological presumption is the fact that the sources that we have are mostly written by elite males and, thus, they rather reflect the ideals of their authors, than the social reality as such. It is also important to consider gender in relation to other socially constructed categories such as
ethnicity and societal status. The ideals concerning elite women differed considerably from those concerning, e.g., slave women.
Gällande start-/slutdatum01/09/201231/08/2017