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date: 16 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines and argues for the vital importance of material culture in our historiographies of early Christianity in four parts. The chapter begins by defining material culture and then shows that material culture has long been included in the history of scholarship of the New Testament. Next, it surveys some of the key trends in the use of material culture for the study of women, gender, and sexuality in antiquity, and, finally, it suggests ways in which feminist materialist philosophy and history leads us to think more expansively about what is meant by material culture, focusing on the “matter” within it and harnessing theories of materiality to deepen our historical analysis of the context for the first production and reception of New Testament and other early Christian texts.

Keywords: material culture, feminist historiography, materialist historiography, new materialism, matter, archaeology, epigraphy

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