World of the Early Church
Christopher A. Hall discusses the cultural and societal background of the early church writers and its influence on their perspectives of gender relations. The formation of the theology and exegesis of the early church regarding the nature of women was colored by the patriarchal structure of the first-century Mediterranean world. While there are many references to godly female leaders in the works of the early church fathers, their merit was often limited by their own devotion to an ascetic lifestyle. Through several references to writers such as John Chrysostom, Origen, and Tertullian, Hall spells out some lessons that can be learned through the consideration of cultural influences regarding the churchs traditional statements about gender relations.
General Session, 57 mins. Seeking Justice and Loving Mercy CBE 10th International Conference, Denver, Colo.
CHRISTOPHER A. HALL (Ph.D., Drew University) is dean of the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, where he teaches in the biblical and theological studies program. He is also associate editor of The Ancient Christian Commentary.