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5.0 out of 5 stars A Book which deals with the Revolutionary Work of Early Christian Women, 17 July 2012
Mrs. E H. Jenkins (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mothers of the Church: The Witness of Early Christian Women (Paperback)
Mike Aquilena and Christopher Bailey combine to write this brilliant book, explaining how Christianity totally transformed Roman society.Before Christianity, most baby girls died , discarded into sewers ad left exposed to the elements, leading the ancients of Rome to lament how few marriageable girls they were. Girls were 'odious daughters' . With Christianity , women refused to do this, and indeed Mike and Chris talk about the other famous early daughters of the church, Thekla, Lydia, Felicity , Perpetua, and Susanna and how the martyrdom of poor St Agnes, turned the Romans away from persecuting Christians. Women became the teachers of the Faith (not the priest).They also talk about St Macrina, who wrote books and pamphlets, explaining the faith and even founded an early monastery with her family.There were also students of St Jerome, because women were foundational to helping him write out and research for this figure ,like St Marcella, who devoted her life to prayer, study and works of charity.
Christian women were not, therefore chattels and could choose not to be married if they wished. This was revolutionary (and St Thekla had been tortured for holding out against marriage),Ineed they point out, that Christ himself pointed the way to high female dignity and value, by revealing himself to St Mary Magdalene, a woman, and as such could not even give evidence in the courts at the time.He also had women who were disciples, and revealed himself as tender to women-(woman with the heomorrage and Samarian woman at the well)They were disciples and never Apostles (apostolo:'Those who were sent out' and specially chosen.
There was of course also the witness of the Blessed Virgin Mary herself, who had brought Christ to the world and whom the angel told her she would be blessed for all time.St Marcella gathered other well educated women together and they were taught by St Jerome, who used them to help all the work he did, in translating the Bible for the first time. St Paula was a great research assistant to Jerome, but died early, as did St Eustochia. They are great examples of committment to research of the scriptures and the new Evangelisation. A Really interesting and powerful book, which deserves to be read by all women, and shows how Christianity sprread through the Church. St Monica , mother of St Augustine of Hippo, was responsible for praying earnestly for him all his life, bringing him back from a shallow immoral life, to the most brilliant mind in the Church. He said 'He owed everything to his mother'. She imbued him with intellectual curiosity.This is fascinating book,deeply researched by experts from certified documents of the time and important for understanding of the role of Christianity in revolutionising the lot of women as teachers, educators and examples society and the importance of women in the Catholic Church, a pattern which is still in force today.The book is also interesting for anyone, who wants to know how revolutionary the early church was.
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Mothers of the Church: The Witness of Early Christian Women
Mothers of the Church: The Witness of Early Christian Women by Christopher Bailey (Paperback - 1 April 2012)
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