Jesus, Power, and Gender Roles

Discussions of the early biblical perspective on the roles of women in the Church and in marriage will remain seriously distorted unless set in the larger context of interpersonal power relations as newly defined and demonstrated by Jesus of Nazareth. His own counter-cultural treatment of women as fully human beings fits hand-in-glove with his sharp rejection of traditional expectations of male dominance (the patriarchal system). This led to the early Christians’ rejection of traditional gender roles while yet affirming the goodness of sexuality.

A presentation by Scott Bartchy, professor, Christian origins and early church history, UCLA
1994 Sunstone Symposium–Salt Lake City

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