Body Politics and Masculine Rhetoric
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 248
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
This volume questions the prevailing 'female empowering' interpretation of Thecla in the Acts of Paul and Thecla. Rosie Andrious examines the way that Thecla is voyeuristically paraded and subjected to a kind of sado-erotic torture, and demonstrates how this perception clashes with any notion that she is presented as a positive role-model for a woman. Rather, Andrious sets this discourse about female 'self-control' and 'chastity' over against the wider narrative of Christian men struggling against the invasive violence of Rome and suggests that the victimized, voyeuristic female representation of Thecla has very little to do with women and is, rather, a complex literary text that represents a power struggle between men. The ideological function of Thecla is therefore, as a constructed body that transcends its ‘natural’ feminine weakness. Andrious thus provides an original interpretative framework for understanding Thelca’s representation, and suggests a completely new way of seeing the saint.
Saint Thecla is an excellent contribution to studies on apocryphal acts in general and on the Acts of Paul and Thecla in particular. It is a must-read for anyone interested in feminist interpretations of ancient Christian stories. * Society of Biblical Literature *