Cover

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Introduction: Sexual Difference and Paul’s Adam-Christ Typology

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pp. 1-27

French philosopher Alain Badiou opens a manifesto on his theory of the subject with the question, “Why Saint Paul? Why solicit this ‘apostle’ who is all the more suspect for having, it seems, proclaimed himself such and whose name is frequently tied to Christianity’s least open, most institutional aspects:...

Part I. The Platonic Woman

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Chapter 1. The Many Become One: Theological Monism and the Problem of the Female Body

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pp. 31-50

In this chapter and throughout this section of the book, I take up the problem of “the Platonic woman”—that is, the ways early Christians who were informed (at least in part) by the tradition of Philo and other platonizing philosophers navigated the question of sexual difference and, in some cases,...

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Chapter 2. Desire and the Feminine: Clement of Alexandria’s Displacement of Eve

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pp. 51-74

In articulating his theological anthropology, Clement of Alexandria makes clear that the difference between male and female is a temporary element of human existence to be shed at the eschaton: “For in this world only is the female distinguished from the male, ‘but in that world, no more.’ There the rewards...are held in store not for male and female but for the human person."1...

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Chapter 3. What Sort of Thing Is This Luminous Woman? Sexual Dimorphism in On the Origin of the World

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pp. 74-94

Whereas numerous platonizing Christian texts locate the difference of the feminine in terms of desire, lack, and derivativeness, in this chapter I turn to another kind of attempted solution to the early Christian problem of “the Platonic woman”—as seen in Tractate II, 5 from Nag Hammadi (known as On the Origin of the World). Like Clement...

Part II. Flesh and Virginity

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Chapter 4. Virgin Earth, Virgin Birth: Irenaeus of Lyons and the Predicaments of Recapitulation

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pp. 97-123

In this section of the book, I turn to a second paradigmatic early Christian strategy for situating sexual difference in relation to Pauline typological categories: the move to build a more complicated framework than that which we see in Paul—one that includes not only Adam and Christ, but also Eve and Mary as typological representatives of sexually...

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Chapter 5. The Contrary Operation: Resignifying the Unpenetrated Body in Tertullian of Carthage

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pp. 124-150

Scholars have paid a great deal of attention to the question of whether the North African theologian Tertullian of Carthage was a misogynist. And there would seem to be ample textual support for an affirmative answer—most notably the notorious opening chapter from De cultu feminarum (The Apparel of Women) where Tertullian vigorously...

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Conclusion: Specters of Paul

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pp. 151-157

In a 2009 New Yorker article, Joan Acocella identifies what she sees as being at stake in the current flurry of academic interest in “rehabilitating” the figure of Judas Iscariot that has accompanied the discovery of the Gospel of Judas: “Cumulatively, the commentaries on the Judas gospel are amazing in their insistence on its upbeat character. Jesus ridicules...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. 159-162

Notes

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pp. 163-216

Bibliography

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pp. 228-242

Index

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pp. 243-249

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 251-252

I have been incredibly fortunate to receive support from several institutions in the form of both funding and leave time, without which this book would not have been possible. I was able to finish the manuscript during the year I spent as a Research Associate in the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School. I want to thank Ann Braude, the program’s director, and Liz Sutton ...