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8. Reading Thecla: Holy Women as Transmitters of Knowledge

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1. Title Title of document 8. Reading Thecla: Holy Women as Transmitters of Knowledge - The Use and Dissemination of Religious Knowledge in Antiquity
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Christine Amadou; University of Oslo; Norway
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies; Ancient History
4. Subject Keyword(s) authority; Christianity; gender; Gospel; martyrs; miracles; reading; Saint Paul; Thecla; women
5. Subject Subject classification religion in antiquity
6. Description Abstract The story of saint Thecla invites a wide range of readings. It tells about women’s religiosity in early Christianity, of the written medium, and of the saints’ missionary activities. The figure of Thecla is represented in a variety of literary genres, from hagiography to philosophical dialogue (Methodius). What do the different genres say about the transmission of religious knowledge and how do they themselves transmit it? How should we read the female, gender-related aspect of this path of transmission? In my contribution I will use theories of the History of Knowledge and the History of Ideas to explore the figure of Thecla as a transmitter of religious knowledge and examine how the different genres reflect this process in three texts. In The Acts of Paul and Thecla I highlight the special and gendered relationship between chastity, knowledge and authority. In The Miracles of Thecla I focus on the miracles connected to reading and writing and thus to a scriptural knowledge, and in Methodius’ Symposium I examine what happens when female knowledge of chastity is extracted from an ecclesiastical context. Through these three readings I will explore questions of gender and religious knowledge and see how divisions between popular and elite religiosity have to be nuanced when women’s access to knowledge and authoritarian positions are taken into account.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 01-Aug-2021
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.38001
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; The Use and Dissemination of Religious Knowledge in Antiquity
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.) antiquity
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd