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Blessed Among Women?Mothers and Motherhood in the New Testament$
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Alicia Myers

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190677084

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190677084.001.0001

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Salvation and Childbearing

Salvation and Childbearing

Does Motherhood Matter?

(p.109) 5 Salvation and Childbearing
Blessed Among Women?

Alicia D. Myers

Oxford University Press

Augustus’s prioritization of family life to promote his own masculinity resulted in a simultaneous emphasis on motherhood in the Roman world. Not only did motherhood advertise a man’s masculine purposing of his woman/wife, but it was also a legitimate path to increased agency for free(d) women. Situated in this context, New Testament and other early Christian traditions offer varying constructions of “feminine virtue,” some of which prioritize or assume motherhood and others of which downplay or even reject it. This chapter examines these themes in the Pastoral Epistles, New Testament household codes (Col 3:18–4:3; Eph 5:21–6:9; 1 Pet 2:9–3:12), the Acts of Thecla, Acts of Andrew, and the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas. In their sustained wrestling with and formations of Christian gender(s), these writings present salvation as masculinization for all followers of Christ, but they disagree on whether motherhood should be a part of this process.

Keywords:   Augustus, Livia, Agrippina the Younger, household codes, Pastoral Epistles, Christian Apocrypha, Thecla, Maximilla, Perpetua, Felicitas

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