Review of Cherry Essay

Submitted By rodriguezashford
Words: 922
Pages: 4

Chapter one describes the three polarities that examined women in the church. First, “Patriarchy versus the discipleship of equals”, Patriarchy in that the father had sole authority and say over everyone in the family; Leaving women to be represented by a male guardian. “Discipleship of equals” in that the way that Jesus disciple, “broke through the barriers of social discrimination to a vision of true equality”. (2) Second, “public versus private”, the invisibility of women in the public areas such as temples, assemblies, law and theatre versus the domestic domain of the women; house, garden, etc. It is noted that “the fact that women may not be addressed in the public setting, doesn’t mean that they were not there.” (3) Lastly, the third polarity is “ascetic versus domestic lifestyle”, talks about when an ascetic lifestyle began, gives the notion of celibacy, virginity and marriage for women of that time. The chapter then gives three assumptions that are the basis for the remainder of the book. These assumptions are to not presume that a masculine titles will exclude women, the function of cultural values (honor and shame), and that women participated in all of the function of the house church. Noting that the house doubled as the church because of the lack of resources to build a separate structure.
Chapter two talks about “dutiful and less than dutiful wives”, it gives examples of couples (ex. Priscilla and Aquila) describing how life was like in those days. It shows how wives bore influence on their husbands and house churches alike.
Chapter three and four, talks about birthing, nursing, childcare and education and general life in the household. These chapters gives great detail to the turmoil of abortion, infanticide and the role of the slave. It shows the feeling of the time regarding abortion and exposure of children. The chapter shows how the house church was a place where births, nursing, and children at play took place. It could be a “noisy and bustling place”. (67) A small amount of emphasis and information is provided about girls in the community, and shows that a women’s education did not stop in childhood. Women taught other women about various issues from becoming a widow to issues regarding their spiritual lives. The fifth chapter talks about slavery in the ancient times, Roman law, the involvement of Christians and Jews in oppression. The chapter also illustrates the role sex played in slavery. Slaves did not possess their own bodies especially when it came to sexual relations. A slave was to have “complete sexual availability to his or her owner.”(103) Chapter six, highlights marriage and Ephesians chapter five. The passage illustrates that in a women’s purity she can gain influence, they carried this influence at home, thus filtering down to give these same women influence in their communities.
Chapters seven and eight show that women were leaders in their households, particular when it came to domestic responsibilities of managing the household as well as cooking. Abilities to be a great hostess and organizer allowed them to be looked upon as leaders in Christian assemblies. Women were indeed banquet hosts and funerary facilitators, raising glasses and “toasting to the departed but were also directed to everyone in the household.”(192) Chapter nine, based on fictional pieces from ancient Rome, showing that women were patrons of these early Christian communities. Women could not vote, or be elected, but they still “extorted political pressure”, conducted business and used their wealth to assist others within society. (199)