Join Alyssa, Jana Riess and Jared Anderson as they kick off the first podcast in the Daughters in My Kingdom series. This monthly series is devoted to exploring a scholarly, uncorrelated history of women in the church. It mirrors the chapter structure of the LDS Church’s recent publication by the same name. In this episode, they trace the surprising history of women in early Christianity. They discuss the textual and historical evidence for women as spiritual leaders in the Old Testament, how Christ’s theology subverted the gender norms of his day, and the women who held the top positions of power in the early Pauline communities. They also explain how women gradually became oppressed and stripped of their high-profile roles in subsequent orthodox Christian cultures.
Image credit: A 9th century Christian mosaic from the Chapel of Zeno of Verona in Rome. The mosaic portrays four female figures: the women saints Prudentiana and Praxedis, the virgin Mary, and “a fourth woman whose hair is veiled and whose head is surrounded by a square halo—an artistic technique indicating that the person was still living at the time the mosaic was made. … A carefully lettered inscription identifies the face on the far left as Theodora Episcopa, which means Bishop Theodora. The masculine form for bishop is episcopus; the feminine form is episcopa. … But the a on Theodora has been partially effaced by scratches across the glass tile of the mosaic, leading to the disturbing conclusion that attempts were made to deface the feminine ending, perhaps even in antiquity” (Karen Jo Torjesen, When Women Were Priests 9-10).
Podcast Prologue Credit: Misquoting Jesus: The Story of Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart Ehrman
Daughters in My Kingdom Chapter One: A Restoration of an Ancient Pattern
Deborah’s representation in the Old Testament Gospel Doctrine manual
Junia is Not Alone by Scot McKnight
Women and Christian Origins by Ross Kraemer and Mary Rose D’Angelo
Notable Extra-Canonical Biblical Texts: