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314BOOK REVIEWS ered together there is a measure ofrepetition, but on a whole the work is a wellpresented and coherent unit. It is very clearly written. The care shown in the examination of the pertinent literature will no doubt recommend it to the historian , but the clarity of presentation makes its scholarly work readily accessible to the more general reader who wants to know more about the ways in which church institutions developed and took shape. There are several matters of interest for both historian and theologian. Faivre shows the divergence in the leadership and organization of churches up to the third century, and shows how the episcopal organization came to dominate. He also explains how the notions of cleric and lay, up to that point largely unknown , took firm hold in the third century. The factors in this development are examined, including the need for authority, the organization of offices into a state oflife, the remuneration ofthose devoted to the service ofthe Church, and most of aU the development of a cultic notion of Uturgy. As Faivre shows, the motivation for the kind of organization adopted and for the authority claimed by bishops was often practical and responded to the need for unity in Uturgy, life, and doctrine. The theological justification was then given by the appeal back to the scriptures and the apostoUc tradition. There are two points that this reviewer would like to underline. First, a reading of this work can help to clarify the nature and development of tradition. This is never a clear Unear development but the result of the many diverse factors that contribute to the statement of doctrines and the authority of bishops, so that these cannot be weU understood unless all the factors are weighed. Second, the basicfraternité or fellowship of the church community, in which all may have some service to render, charismatic or institutional, was at an early stage suffocated by the prevalence of the clergy/laity distinction. This gave rise to a clerical dominance in every area of church life, except for the contribution of finances, due to reasons often more practical than theological. There are no answers here to current questions in ecclesiology and ministry, but the historical contribution to the understanding of how things developed cannot be ignored. David N. Power, O.M.I. The Catholic University ofAmerica The Virgin and the Bride: Idealized Womanhood in Late Antiquity. By Kate Cooper. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 1996. Pp. xU, 180. $37.50.) Studies of asceticism and gender in Late Antiquity and Early Christianity have flourished in recent decades. Cooper engages this discussion by tracing the shifting character of pagan and Christian rhetorical constructions of female virtue, especiaUy as these were embodied in discourses on marriage and celibacy. Beginning with Plutarch's Erötikos (chap. 1), then proceeding through ancient novels (chap. 2) and early Christian apocrypha (chap. 3), Cooper demonstrates how a rhetoric of female virtue served in an economy of power rela- BOOK REVIEWS315 tions among men: marital chastity and household harmony were broadcast as emblems of a man's suitability for public office and devotion to the common good (one thinks immediately of the Pastoral Epistles and their requirements for the episcopacy). Similarly, Cooper argues, the ancient novels, with their titillating stories of desire deferred (but ultimately consummated), served to harness marital pleasure to the common good, that is, to the establishment of households and the replenishment of society by procreation. Against this background the apocryphal acts of the early Christians appear deliberately to mimic and invert the GrecoRoman ideology of erös. As Cooper sees it, the asceticism of the apocrypha was less an argument for asceticism per se than it was a "rhetorical weapon" that chaUenged traditional sources of authority (household, city) and claimed an alternative , Christian basis of authority, namely, the moral superiority of the (male) ascetic teacher. In chapters 4-5 Cooper turns to Christian Uterature of the late fourth and early fifth centuries. She focuses primarily on the debates between "traditionalists " and "separatists" in the Church at Rome, that is, between those Christians (probably always the majority) who remained committed to marriage, family, and the social order and those who...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 314-315
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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