RELG 393-- Key Moments in Early Church History
History of Christianity | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement
This paper analyzes The Acts of Paul and Thecla, an early Christian writing, within the framework of gender in antique Rome. Roman gender was based on performance, which is the basis of each character's gender construction in this story. Thecla undergoes a radical transformation from a passive female, preparing to be wed, to an active, ideal male who controls her independence and performs public oratory. In contrast, Paul, who appears as an ideal male at the beginning of the story, is "unmanned" by Thecla when she ultimately defies her female categorization. The Acts of Paul and Thecla exhibits the complexity of gender in antiquity and the bravery required to defy socially constructed gender norms.
Augustana Digital Commons Citation
Shelton, Leah Jo M.. "Thecla Penetrates the Popular Perception" (2016). Mary Wollstonecraft Writing Award.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.