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Great Series On The Bbc


jonnyb
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Hi, just wanted to tell you about a great series i've been watching on the BBC. apologies to non-UK folks who probably won't be able to see it :/ .

 

it's called Divine Women. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01g8ck1

 

it is a beautifully made historical programme which so far has looked early female deities, Sappho, the vestal virgins and, most interestingly to me, it looked in last night's episode at the involvement of women in the early christian church.

 

they looked at the women who were involved in Paul's ministry, and how contrary to popular belief, women were frequently leaders in the early church. they have found artwork in the catacombs of rome recently which depicts women leading communion and dressed as priests. there was also artwork in a cathedral which had been tampered with to change a female leaders name to a male one.

 

the program speculated that it was st Augustine who put paid to women's involvement in church leadership.

 

One very interesting line of thought was that before christianity, it was essiental for a society's survival to keep the birth rate up, so it was a woman's duty to produce children continually from puberty on. however because christianity, in particular Paul's message, had an emphasis on the 'end of days' the motivation switched from society's survival to getting the gospel to everyone as quick as possible. so women were relieved of child-bearing duties and brought on board with the cause

 

anyone see the show or have any thoughts on the above?

 

thanks

Jonny

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Jonny,

 

Thanks for the reference although some of us will likely not be able to get this series unless PBS decides to pick it up.

 

In any event, the comments about women and early Christianity are consistent with what Rodney Stark ("The Rise of Christianity") says. He is a sociologist who specializes in religion. He says that women are typically the religious leaders in the family and they were in early Christianity as well. First the women came, then the children, men and servants followed.

 

George

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Occasionally on BBC America we actually get the good shows! I'm definitely going to watch for this. It is my understanding that the very earliest Christian meetings took place in wealthy women's homes - they had homes large enough to accommodate groups of people and had the financial means to help feed them. Also, at least two of Paul's disciples were women who traveled and spoke in Paul's name. I would certainly like to know about women's roles in the early church. Thanks for posting this.

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