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In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins
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In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  22 reviews
This brilliant scholarly treatise succeeds in bringing to our consciousness women who played an important role in the origins of Christianity.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Herder Herder (first published January 1st 1983)
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Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a well research, densely argued, academically rigorous exploration of the role of women in early Christian leadership as revealed in a critical reading of biblical and extra biblical texts and a study of the role of women in various social subgroups of the time.
So, I had high hopes for this book when I picked it up. It is a classic of feminist biblical interpretation from a world-class scholar. That said, there were just too many methodological problems, cases of special pleading, speculations passed off as fact (upon which subsequent speculations passed off as fact were then built), and arguments from silence. She admits as much in the introduction and the first section of the book, which is devoted to methodology. Her reason for permitting this is, m ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read the 10th Anniversary edition...1993.

This book is timeless; it addresses questions women have had for centuries. That women supported Jesus financially in his public ministry is well documented and this book asserts that it marked Him as a prophet.

This book states that women were engaged in ministry and leadership roles in the Church before, during and after Paul. The author asserts, as I have read elsewhere, that home churches were most often led by women.

If you are not familiar with Chu
Angela Joyce
Mar 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Rashaan, Dónal, Rueyn, Lisa
Shelves: faith-in-general
The gist of this challenging book is that Christianity can never realize its full potential until the old men "in charge" stop suppressing, repressing, and flat-out hating women-- both historical and current. It was originally written in the early 1980s and might be most relevant NOW. My only problem with it is that no blame is assigned to women themselves. I would have liked at least one chapter that exhorts women to look to their own behavior and take responsibility for what they have ALLOWED ...more
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
classic in its field; should be required reading for all ministers
Feb 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Her deconstructive approach is rigorous and compelling but i think she falters some in her reconstruction. Regardless, it's thought-provoking.
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
After one of our pastor’s sermons a few months ago, he recommended this book to my hubby and I (mostly because I wanted to stand up and cheer during mass when he sprinkled in a bit of feminist thinking). Refreshing! And sadly so scarce in the church.

It reads like a theological textbook; the author has an impressive list of credentials including being the “Krister Stendhal Professor of Divinity at Harvard University.” A good, brainy look at church history through a feminist lens.
Laura Robinson
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really love a lot of this book -- namely, the project (reconstructing the history of Christian women that lurks underneath the texts of the New Testament) and the methods (casting a broad net for sources, paying attention to redaction), etc. But as often occurs when you're trying to reconstruct history outside the "official" narrative, there's some speculation involved. There's an over-emphasis on the role of Sophia in the earliest theology of the church, I think, and also a historical Jesus w ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating read, one I had meant to read for years. It is academic and dense, so not very easy reading.... but she covers so many vital aspects of the role of women as we see them in the NT texts, and in other early Christian writings, and goes back behind them to try to discover how women were originally viewed in the early church. She builds a convincing case for the view that after early egalitarianism, the status of women was reduced in the second century. I agree with much of wh ...more
Den Slader
Jun 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
I like how Schussler Fiorenza uses a confessional approach. I expected her to be more critical of Saint Paul, but surprisingly she was not. In my earlier Christian growth, I disliked Paul; hence, I disliked that this book was supportive of him. But I've come to terms with Paul, and that makes this book all the more refreshing.
Michael Walker
Jun 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Dr. Fiorenza takes slim pickings to build a case for a feminist reading of Scripture. She reveals nothing new here. Built on sand, her thesis fails to sway - much less to set one to thinking. Disappointing!
David Bates
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
for an evangelical this book will seem quite shocking, but the challenge to preconceptions is eminently healthy.
Doris Raines
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doris-shelf
In. Memory. Of. Her. Great. Book. Thanks.
Yefta Wiatmoko
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
good, because i need this book for my homework
May 27, 2011 added it
Holy cow this is a dense read!
Gabriel Pelletier
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent scholarly reformulation of a highly paternalistic book (the bible). She searches for the role women played in the early "cult of Jesus," such as leaders of the first home-based churches.
Vanda Dien
Oct 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Feminist Theology
Jennifer Bird
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Do keep in mind the year this groundbreaking book was published. ESF has responded to race and class issues, since then. In fact, I've discussed with her the possibility of updating it to reflect these shifts in her own way of thinking!

K Kriesel
Very dense and academic. I'm glad to have my own copy filled with post-its but this was difficult to trudge through
Miguel Núñez
Uno de los primeros libros que leí de esta autora, realmente extraordinario, con una sensibilidad para entender la Biblia sin estereotipos de género.
Niwel Rassang
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i want to finish my task by read this book
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Jan 04, 2019
Therese Hicks
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Jun 23, 2017
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Mar 20, 2011
Mpole Masemola
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Jan 14, 2015
Joseph Peters-Mathews
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Dec 12, 2017
Jenny Justice
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May 20, 2015
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Aug 21, 2011
Robert Lowry
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Feb 11, 2015
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May 20, 2018
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Born Elisabeth Schüssler in Tășnad, in the Transylvanian region of the Kingdom of Romania, Professor Schüssler Fiorenza is a German feminist, theologian and Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. Schüssler Fiorenza identifies as Catholic and her work is generally in the context of Christianity, although much of her work has broader applicability.

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