By Ross Shepard Kraemer
Kraemer analyzes how gender presents the traditionally obfuscating substructure of various texts: Livy's account of the origins of the Roman Bacchanalia; Philo of Alexandria's envisioning of idealized, masculinized ladies philosophers; rabbinic debates approximately girls learning Torah; Justin Martyr's depiction of an elite Roman matron who adopts chaste Christian philosophical self-discipline; the same illustration of Paul's fictive disciple, Thecla, within the nameless Acts of (Paul and) Thecla; Severus of Minorca's depiction of Jewish girls because the final hold-outs opposed to Christian pressures to transform, and others.
While aware of arguments that ladies are mostly fictive proxies in elite male contestations over masculinity, authority, and tool, Kraemer keeps her specialise in redescribing and explaining women's non secular practices. She argues that - gender-specific or no longer - non secular practices within the historic Mediterranean many times encoded and affirmed rules approximately gender. As in lots of cultures, women's devotion to the divine was once either appropriate and inspired, basically as long as it conformed to pervasive structures of femininity as passive, embodied, emotive, insufficiently managed and subordinated to masculinity.
Extending her findings past the traditional Mediterranean, Kraemer proposes that, extra quite often, faith is likely one of the many human social practices which are either gendered and gendering, developing and inscribing gender on humans and on human activities and ideas. Her research hence poses major questions about the relationships among religions and gender within the glossy world.
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