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Counting Women & Children: Restoring the Lost Heritage of Formative Judaism & Early Christianity Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D. Professor of Biblical Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "Counting Women & Children: Restoring the Lost Heritage of Formative Judaism & Early Christianity Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D. Professor of Biblical Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Counting Women & Children: Restoring the Lost Heritage of Formative Judaism & Early Christianity Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D. Professor of Biblical Studies & Early Christianity John Carroll University Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D. Professor of Biblical Studies & Early Christianity John Carroll University

2 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium2 Historical Research Depends upon Testimony

3 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium3 Testimony is Interpreted  Interpreted witness (even material artifacts)  Requires further interpretation  Presuppositions influence interpretation  Nature and extent of testimony (texts, inscriptions, material artifacts, etc.) influences interpretation

4 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium4 Testimony of Material Artifacts When possible, combine various types of evidence to support reconstruction (e.g., use textual evidence with support identification and interpretation of material artifacts)

5 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium5 Testimony of Material Artifacts The James Ossuary  Which James is it?  Is the “brother of Jesus” part of the inscription authentic?  What is its date?

6 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium6 Objective of Historical Research: Most Probable Reconstruction Tarsus

7 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium7 Reconstructions are Hypotheses  Not certain knowledge of the past  Usually a broad outline with some illustrative details Corner of Mosaic Floor 3 rd –4 th century Anatolia

8 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium8 Readers Interpret Reconstruction Tarsus, reconstruction of tents like those made by St. Paul

9 The Problem of Memory Loss Historical “Some-timers”

10 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium10 Elite Bias of Texts  Texts written for literate elite  Highlight their peers – I.e., aristocratic class, typically men – “Average” person not noted – Children rarely mentioned – Few women, fewer named  Cannot be taken as complete  Supplement with material evidence  Texts written for literate elite  Highlight their peers – I.e., aristocratic class, typically men – “Average” person not noted – Children rarely mentioned – Few women, fewer named  Cannot be taken as complete  Supplement with material evidence

11 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium11 Elite Bias of Material Evidence Only wealthy can afford durable goods like – Dedicatory statues & inscriptions – Frescoes & mosaics – Stone v. wood structures

12 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium12 A History of Forgetfulness Library of Celsus, Ephesus (2 nd century C.E.)

13 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium13 Who “counts” depends upon who’s counting Terms indicating authority often re-defined when applied to women, e.g.  Synagogue inscriptions honoring women as archisynagogos, “ruler of the synagogue”  Authority of women prophets in I Cor 11:10 Terms indicating authority often re-defined when applied to women, e.g.  Synagogue inscriptions honoring women as archisynagogos, “ruler of the synagogue”  Authority of women prophets in I Cor 11:10 1 st century CE Synagogue at Capernaum

14 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium14 Who “counts” depends upon who’s counting Terms indicating authority often re-defined when applied to women, e.g.  Synagogue inscriptions honoring women as archisynagogos, “ruler of the synagogue”  Authority of women prophets in I Cor 11:10 Terms indicating authority often re-defined when applied to women, e.g.  Synagogue inscriptions honoring women as archisynagogos, “ruler of the synagogue”  Authority of women prophets in I Cor 11:10

15 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium15 Sex-Change Operations  Junia, a Roman woman Paul calls a “noteworthy apostle” ( Rom16:7 ) becomes the man “Junias”  The woman presider in the Priscilla catecombs

16 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium16 The Road to Recovery The Ephesian Via Sacra

17 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium17 How to Overcome Communal Memory Loss  Follow an explicit, consistent methodology  Cultivate gender blindness (i.e., give same level of credence to evidence concerning women and men)  Use material remains to supplement textual evidence  Read between the lines  Sometimes read “against the grain”

18 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium18 Women Disciples of Jesus Most images of “the Last Supper” depict only Jesus and twelve men, but women disciples also were there (cf. John 12:1–8).

19 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium19 Mothers of Synagogues The Temple Scroll (11Q19–20)

20 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium20 Female Priests in Synagogues & Churches Marin the Egyptian, a Jewish priestess ( CIJ 1514 )

21 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium21 History of Jewish Origins: Pilgrimage of Remembrance

22 10 September 2006 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D., "Shared Values, Divergent Paths" Symposium22 Other Resources  Bernadette Brooten, Women Leaders in the Synagogues  Tal Ilan, Integrating Women into Second Temple History  ______, Jewish Women in Greco-Roman Palestine  JCU Bible Web (http://www.jcu.edu/bible)http://www.jcu.edu/bible  Sheila E. McGinn, presentation on the Maltz Museum Special Exhibit, Cradle of Christianity: Jewish and Christian Treasures from the Holy Land


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