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Equality vs. Patriarchy in Early Christianity

October 4, 2013 - October 5, 2013

This seminar explores the rich and contentious history of the rise of early Christian groups. Although most of Christian history is dominated by stories about male leaders and hierarchical systems of beliefs and practices, there are many clues that lead scholars to reconstruct a different story of Christian origins. Were male leaders dominant in the first 100 years of Christianity? Did Jesus and his earliest companions actually attempt to establish a group that was based on egalitarian principles? We will explore the evidence for equality in early Christianity through careful studies of texts and archaeology.


Friday Lecture

First Generation Jesus Movements: Jesus and Paul

This session will consider egalitarian impulses and patriarchal ideologies in the earliest layers of the Jesus and Pauline traditions. Topics include the significance of Galatians 3:28, conversations in Corinth concerning women’s leadership, and sayings concerning poverty, households and family in the earliest collection of sayings attributed to Jesus in the Q materials.
Friday, 7:30–9 pm

Saturday Workshops

Second Generation Christians: Gospel Stories vs. Household Codes

This session will consider the New Testament Gospels in their final form, along with the near contemporary pseudo-Pauline literature. By the beginning of the second century, there is a distinct interest in making Christian groups more patriarchal. Why did Christians move away from egalitarianism?
Saturday, 9:30–Noon

Third Generation Christians: The Second Century

We continue by tracing egalitarian vs. hierarchical tendencies in both late canonical texts (the book of Acts, the Pastoral Epistles) and in non-canonical texts (the Acts of the Thecla, gnostic texts, and the new prophecy). What are the competing visions of community and authority that animate debate within and among these textual traditions?
Saturday, 1:30–4:00 pm

Sponsoring Church

Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Carlsbad, CA

Local Contact

Pilgrim United Church of Christ
760-729-6311 ext. 101


Dupertuis Ruben ReneRubén René Dupertuis (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University) is Assistant Professor of Religion at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He is the Co-Chair of the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative Group and a member of the steering committee for the Bible and American Popular Culture Group, both of the Society of Biblical Literature.


Moreland MiltonMilton C. Moreland (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University) is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Program in Archaeology at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the editor of Between Text and Artifact: Integrating Archaeology into Biblical Studies Teaching (2003). His other publications include two edited books on the sayings of Jesus.


All Sessions

  • Individual Rate $75
  • Pre-registration Rate (by Sept 20) $60
  • Additional Family Members $50

Single Sessions

  • Friday Evening Lecture $20
  • Saturday Morning Workshop $30
  • Saturday Afternoon Workshop $30

Refunds are available until two weeks before the event if requested in writing, minus a $10 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after that date.

Learn more about Jesus Seminar on the Road


October 4, 2013
October 5, 2013
Event Category:


Pilgrim United Church of Christ
2020 Chestnut Avenue Carlsbad, CA 92008 United States


Westar Institute
(503) 375-5323