This important work discusses the new insights that feminist scholarship has brought to the study of the Bible and of other early Christian literature.
Professor Heine comments on modern feminist interpretations of the life of Jesus, the crucifixion, Paul, Gnosticism, and other topics.
The author finds in the views of some other feminists and aversion toward traditional historical critical methods in favor of responding to the subjectivist impact of the texts. She issues an appeal for a reappraisal--a second stage in the feminist movement that would be open to analysis and correction. What is needed is more rigorous application of scholarly methods to "counter prejudices through criticism, and negative experiences through active hope." If indeed Gal. 3:28 ("there is neither male nor female") reflects the practice and teaching of Jesus, then the church must conform to it, and women are freed from the need to seek legitimation from history or elsewhere.
Dr. Heine brings an important--often sobering--new voice, a balanced and reasoned assessment of the repression and oppression of women in early Christianity.