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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Although women participated in the early Christian rituals described elsewhere in this book, it would not be accurate to presume that their participation was in any way identical to that of men, nor even to the elite men whose evidence forms the basis of scholarly discussions. This chapter focuses on women’s ritualizing in relation to their bodies, the domestic sphere, in women-only religious communities, and in relation to the ecclesial hierarchy. It suggests that in some cases the approaches used by contemporary ritual theorists are insufficiently nuanced to allow for gender difference.

Keywords: Christian hierarchy, deaconesses, domestic life, funerary rituals, menstruation, pregnancy, purity, women

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