By Benjamin H. Dunning

The 1st Christians operated with a hierarchical version of sexual distinction universal to the traditional Mediterranean, with girls thought of to be lesser types of guys. but sexual distinction used to be no longer thoroughly strong as a conceptual classification around the spectrum of formative Christian pondering. relatively, early Christians stumbled on how one can workout theological creativity and to imagine otherwise from each other as they probed the enigma of sexually differentiated bodies.
In Specters of Paul, Benjamin H. Dunning explores this style in moment- and third-century Christian inspiration with specific consciousness to the methods the legacy of the apostle Paul fueled, formed, and likewise limited ways to the problem. Paul articulates his imaginative and prescient of what it potential to be human basically through situating humans among poles: production (Adam) and resurrection (Christ). yet inside this framework, the place does one position the determine of Eve—and the adaptation that her girl physique represents?
Dunning demonstrates that this obstacle impacted a number of Christian thinkers within the centuries instantly following the apostle, together with Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus of Lyons, Tertullian of Carthage, and authors from the Nag Hammadi corpus. whereas every one of those thinkers makes an attempt to offer the adaptation of the female a coherent position inside of a Pauline typological framework, Dunning exhibits that all of them fail to carry absolutely at the coherence that they promise. as a substitute, sexual distinction haunts the Pauline discourse of identification and sameness because the distinction that may be neither totally assimilated nor absolutely ejected—a end with vital implications not just for early Christian historical past but additionally for feminist and queer philosophy and theology.

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Here the complex drama of the first half of the texta story of androgyn y, sexual d'IVIswn, .. d esue, . . th e d'IVtn · e and generanon m realm-serves to pave t he way cror an account of the creation of different ki nds of human beings. he Cosmogonic Narrative: A Summary Because various nar . I f . I . ranve e ements o the anthropogonic storyline re Y so heavily on the ea t· . lin · . d r Ier cosmogoruc drama, a brief recap of its basic story e IS m or er. The text op 'th . f th . ens WI an apologetic discussion that outlines the ongtns 0 e pnmal chaos w· thi thi th .

In this way, the that Buell rightly highlights the female body and the role of women in the anciem Desire and the Feminine social order collapses. From Clement's point of view for many, if nor most, ancient thinkers), the bodily implications and the social implications of sexual difference arc entailed in one another. r8). In this way, the pre-fall status of sexual difference allows Clement to ground his androcentric conclusions-not only about women's biological destiny as mothers but also their "natural" fitness to be housekeepers-in the authority of the created order, as interpreted by Paul.

S The basic problem, as summarized by Louis Painchaud, is that .. - .... 78 iii ll l 5 :: :: cc Chaptn-J Whar Sorr of Thing Is This Luminous Woman? " 10 It bears narrative affinities to other Nag Hammadi texts such as the Apocryphon ofjohn and especially the Hypostasis of the Archom but does not seem to have a direct literary relationship to them. " 12 Scholars have sought to explain this puzzling situation through appealing to interpolations or levels of redaction, the most thorough and convincing attempt being Painchaud's hypothesis of a double redaction.

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