15 April, 2015

Band of angels: the forgotten world of early Christian women by Kate Cooper [Annie, Helensville Library]

History fascinates me  the history of women in particular – so my interest was raised by this as it passed by my eyes. Thanks to my liberal religious upbringing, I’ve pondered the history of women in the Bible. Controversial, and heterodox writings, such as Holy blood, Holy grail, are part of my reading history. So, anything on the history of women within Christianity intrigues me. 

The author is a professor of ancient history and a Christian. Her research is solid, as you’d hope, and her speculations are stated as such. 

Women’s roles in Roman Empire are explored, using both the scattered references in the Bible (for example, women like Phoebe, mentioned in Romans 16: 1-2, a supporter of Paul); and historical figures ( including, but not limited to, Helena, Emperor Constantine’s mother). Which helps illuminate the important roles women played in the foundation of the early Christian church and the spread of Christianity; from its origins as an obscure messianic, apocalyptic Jewish sect, to it becoming the worldwide, multi-denominational, phenomenon we know today. This history can be forgotten. This book provides refreshing and illuminating insights into this period. 

An intriguing read for those interested in ancient and / or Christian history. 

Title: Band of angels:the forgotten world of early Christian women
Author: Kate Cooper
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Date: 2013
ISBN: 9781848873285

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