This week up at the Feminist Mormon Housewives podcast, the theme is women in the Bible and early Christianity. No small topic! Pinging off the Daughters in My Kingdom book the LDS Church released last fall, the episode takes up questions such as:
- What roles did women play in the period of the Judges? Or during the ministry of Paul? How does LDS Church curriculum regard those women leaders?
- Who is the female apostle mentioned in Romans 16, and why don't we know more about her?
- How countercultural was Jesus' treatment of women?
- Did the Relief Society exist during the time of the apostles?
(Short answer to this last question: There is no biblical or first-century evidence for this notion, though Eliza R. Snow claimed that Joseph Smith taught it. It's very interesting to me that Church curriculum bends over backwards to erase the individual contributions of women like Deborah even while beginning to trumpet this obscure quote from ERS as evidence of the institutional importance of women as a collective.)
Here's the episode description.
Join Alyssa, Jana Riess and Jared Anderson as they kick off the first podcast in the Daughters in My Kingdom series. This monthly series is devoted to exploring a scholarly, uncorrelated history of women in the church. It mirrors the chapter structure of the LDS Church’s recent publication by the same name.
In this episode, they trace the surprising history of women in early Christianity. They discuss the textual and historical evidence for women as spiritual leaders in the Old Testament, how Christ’s theology subverted the gender norms of his day, and the women who held the top positions of power in the early Pauline communities. They also explain how women gradually became oppressed and stripped of their high-profile roles in subsequent orthodox Christian cultures.