Women and the Historical Jesus

Feminist Myths of Christian Origins

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Kathleen E. Corley

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For decades scholars have argued that Jesus' teaching fostered inclusive communities and the full participation of women. Now Kathleen Corley challenges the assumption that Jesus himself fought patriarchal limitations on women. Rather the analysis of his authentic teaching suggests that while Jesus critiques class and slave/free distinctions in his culture, his critique did not extend to unequal gender distinctions. The presence of women among his disciples, she says, is explained on the basis of the presence of women among many Greco-Roman religions and philosophical groups, including the Judaism of Jesus' own day. Kathleen E. Corley is the Oshkosh Northwestern Distinguished Professor. A member of the Steering Committee of the Women and the Biblical World section of the Society of Biblical Literature, she has also served as Visiting scholar at the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity in Claremont, CA, the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, and as a member of the Steering Committee of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature.