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Ordained Women in the Early Church

A Documentary History

edited and translated by Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek

Publication Date
Binding Type

In a time when the ordination of women is an ongoing and passionate debate, the study of women's ministry in the early church is a timely and significant one. There is much evidence from documents, doctrine, and artifacts that supports the acceptance of women as presbyters and deacons in the early church. While this evidence has been published previously, it has never before appeared in one complete English-language collection.

With this book, church historians Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek present fully translated literary, epigraphical, and canonical references to women in early church...

In a time when the ordination of women is an ongoing and passionate debate, the study of women's ministry in the early church is a timely and significant one. There is much evidence from documents, doctrine, and artifacts that supports the acceptance of women as presbyters and deacons in the early church. While this evidence has been published previously, it has never before appeared in one complete English-language collection.

With this book, church historians Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek present fully translated literary, epigraphical, and canonical references to women in early church offices. Through these documents, Madigan and Osiek seek to understand who these women were and how they related to and were received by, the church through the sixth century. They chart women's participation in church office and their eventual exclusion from its leadership roles.

The editors introduce each document with a detailed headnote that contextualizes the text and discusses specific issues of interpretation and meaning. They also provide bibliographical notes and cross-reference original texts. Madigan and Osiek assemble relevant material from both Western and Eastern Christendom.

Reviews

Reviews

The richly varied texts introduce us to a remarkable group of women.

An invaluable resource for all who are interested in the historical evidence relating to the ordination of women as deacons and presbyters in the early centuries up to roughly the sixth century.

Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek's collection and analysis of the historical documents on the topic is important and relevant to church historians and modern church leaders alike.

Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek... have done the important work of bringing together into one volume all known Greek and Latin references to women deacons and presbyters.

Thanks to this work, most of the pieces of the jig saw of the history of women in the diaconate are laid out before us.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
240
ISBN
9781421400372
Illustration Description
14 halftones, 2 maps
Table of Contents

Preface
Source Abbreviations
1. Introduction
2. New Testament Texts and Their Patristic Commentators
Romans 16:1–2
1 Timothy 3:8–11
1 Timothy 5:3–13
3. Women Deacons in the East: Literary Texts, Literary

Preface
Source Abbreviations
1. Introduction
2. New Testament Texts and Their Patristic Commentators
Romans 16:1–2
1 Timothy 3:8–11
1 Timothy 5:3–13
3. Women Deacons in the East: Literary Texts, Literary Allusions, Inscriptions
Literary Texts and Allusion
Insciptions
4. Women Deacons in the East: Canons and Comments on Church Practice
Didascalia and Apostolic Constitutions
Other Sources before the Sixth Century, in Chronological Order
Justinian, Novellae
5. Women Deacons in the East: Later Texts
6. Women Deacons in the West
Literary Texts
Inscriptions
Canons and Comments on Church Practice
7. Women Deacons: Testamentum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi and Related Texts
8. Women Presyters
In the East
Literary Texts, Canonical, and Legendary
Inscriptions
In the West
Wives of Clerics
Three North Africans against Women Presbyters
Canons and Episcopal Letters
Inscriptions
9. Conclusions
Appendixes
A. Locations of Deacon Inscriptions
B. Locations of Deacons in Literary Sources
C. Locations of Presbyters
D. Family Relationships Identified for Women in Inscriptions
Index of Ancient Names
Index of Deaconesses, Presbyters, and Episcopa
Index of Modern Authors

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Kevin Madigan

Kevin Madigan is the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University.
Featured Contributor

Carolyn Osiek

Carolyn Osiek is the Charles Fischer Professor of New Testament (retired), Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University.