Hartford Seminary

Men, Women, and Sex in Early Christian Texts (SC-619)

What do Christian texts have to do with “it” – the construction of today’s social values and norms, that is? How much of their teachings have we maintained? What have we changed? This course will explore the cultural constructions of gender and sexuality in various New Testament and other early Christian writings. In dialogue with the interdisciplinary field of gender studies (including feminist theory and criticism and masculinity studies) we will analyze texts that illustrate that gender and sexuality were interrelated categories in early Christian literature. We will explore topics such as male and female roles/relations, gendered representations of God, eroticism, and virginity, etc. Interested yet? We will also deal with the “So What?” question: Why does it matter? Button-pushing conversations about women’s leadership in religious settings, violence against women and other “other-ed” individuals, and homosexuality (to name a few), should do the trick. You be the judge.

If you are not enrolled in a degree program but wish to register for this course, use the Online Registration for Special Students and Auditors.


Shanell T. Smith


Summer 2018

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