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Desiring Conversion – Hermas, Thecla, Aseneth - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Desiring Conversion: Hermas, Thecla, Aseneth

B. Diane Lipsett


Self-restraint or self-mastery may appear to be the opposite of erotic desire. But in three ancient tales of conversion—The Shepherd of Hermas, the Acts of Paul and Thecla, and Joseph and Aseneth—the interplay of desire and self-restraint is complex and dynamic, as careful literary analysis shows. This study treats conversion—the marked change in a protagonist’s piety and identity—as in part an effect of story, a function of narrative textures, coherence, and closure. Readings of the three narratives gain nuance through appeals to varied theorists of desire, self-formation, and narrative, incl ... More

Keywords: Hermas, Thecla, Aseneth, Self-restraint, Desire, Conversion, Narrativity, Virginity, Masculinity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780199754519
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754519.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

B. Diane Lipsett, author
Wake Forest University School of Divinity

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