"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, April 3, 2017

Early Christian Family Life

The University of California Press, which regularly publishes new works in early Christian history, many of which have been noted on here over the years, has recently sent me a new collection of articles edited by Catherine Chin and Caroline Schroeder: Melania: Early Christianity through the Life of One Family (2016), 344pp.

Containing articles by well-known and respected scholars of the Christian East and of antiquity (e.g., Robin Darling Young, Stephen Shoemaker), this volume has articles grouped under thematic headings: aristocracy, body and family, gender and memory, wisdom and heresy, holy places, and "modernities."

About this book the publisher tells us:
Melania the Elder and her granddaughter Melania the Younger were major figures in early Christian history, using their wealth, status, and forceful personalities to shape the development of nearly every aspect of the religion we now know as Christianity. This volume examines their influence on late antique  Christianity and provides an insightful portrait of their legacies in the modern world. Departing from the traditionally patriarchal view, Melania gives a poignant and sometimes surprising account of how the rise of Christian institutions in the Roman Empire shaped our understanding of women’s roles in the larger world.

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