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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Forgotten Women Leaders: The Authority of Women Hosts of Early Christian Gatherings in the First and Second Centuries C.E.
Pihlava, Kaisa-Maria

Helsinki: Finnish Exegetical Society, 2017 pp. 239. Ä28.00

Series Information
Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society, 113

Description: While once essential agents in early Christian communities, in centuries to come women hosts were forgotten. Kaisa-Maria Pihlava, Th.D., sets out to trace literary representations of women hosts in early Christian sources. She also discusses what we know of early Christian communities, women property owners, and heads of households in antiquity. She argues that women hosts had authority in their early Christian communities because of the domestic setting of these communities and the authority that hosts had irrespective of their gender. The authority that women hosts gained was not countercultural. Instead, socioeconomic hierarchy resulted in the authority positions of women hosts of early Christian gatherings. In Pihlava's study, women hosts are written into the narratives of early Christian beginnings.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins, Social-Scientific Approaches, Sociology

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Review by Carolyn Osiek
Published 10/4/2018
Citation: Carolyn Osiek, review of Kaisa-Maria Pihlava, Forgotten Women Leaders: The Authority of Women Hosts of Early Christian Gatherings in the First and Second Centuries C.E., Review of Biblical Literature [] (2018).

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