Monday, August 12, 2013

Band of Angels

"A Manchester University professor has published a book to shine light on the women she claims have been neglected by mainstream churches.

Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women by Professor Kate Cooper draws on five years of research and looks at some of the women who were hugely influential as Christianity spread in the first and second centuries.

She argues that women played a central role in spreading the new Christian faith through informal friendship and family networks.

Their authority within Christian communities was earned through their role as parents, community organisers, and small business owners."

"Drawing on the earliest Christian texts, Cooper examines what it would have been to live as a woman between the first and fifth centuries. Her book is as much an exercise in historical detective work as anything else, an act of reading between and behind the lines, rescuing these lost women from ancient sources, assessing their influence, and placing their lives in a broader social and historical context.

She explores in particular detail the exaltation of virginity and the role of the domestic space in the growth and spread of the church. Early Christians usually gathered in private homes, with families and communities praying together, and women were a vital part of this process."

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