Behold the Man: Jesus and Greco-Roman Masculinity
In this book, Colleen Conway looks at the construction of masculinity in New Testament depictions of Jesus. She argues that the New Testament writers necessarily engaged the predominant gender ideology of the Roman Empire, whether consciously or unconsciously. Although the notion of what constituted ideal masculinity in Greek and Roman cultures certainly pre-dated the Roman Empire, the emergence of the Principate concentrated this gender ideology on the figure of the emperor. Indeed, critical to the success of the empire was the portrayal of the emperor as the ideal man and the Roman citizen as one who aspired to be the same. Any person who was held up alongside the emperor as another source of authority would be assessed in terms of the cultural values represented in this Roman image of the "manly man." Conway examines a variety of ancient ideas of masculinity, as found in philosophical discourses, medical treaties, imperial documents, and ancient inscriptions. Manliness, in these accounts, was achieved through self-control over passions such as lust, anger, and greed. It was also gained through manly displays of courage, the endurance of pain, and death on behalf of others. With these texts as a starting point, Conway shows how the New Testament writings approach Jesus' gender identity. From Paul's early letters to the Gospels and Acts, to the book of Revelation, Christian writings in the Bible confront the potentially emasculating scandal of the cross and affirm Jesus as ideally masculine. Conway's study touches on such themes as the relationship between divinity and masculinity; the role of the body in relation to gender identity; and belief in Jesus as a means of achieving a more ideal form of masculinity. This impeccably researched and highly readable book reveals the importance of ancient gender ideology for the interpretation of Christian texts.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - the_awesome_opossum - LibraryThing
I really wasn't sold by the argument that Colleen Conway sets forth in this book: evidently, Jesus is the manliest man ever, and this is defined by him acting virtuous and good. Not standard ... Read full review
2 How to Be a Man in the GrecoRoman World
Divus Augustus Philos Moses and Philostratuss Apollonius
4 The Unmanned Christ and the Manly Christian in the Pauline Tradition
5 The Markan Jesus as Manly Martyr?
Mainstream and Marginal Masculinities
7 The Lukan Jesus and the Imperial Elite
The Divine Masculinity of the Johannine Jesus
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anger Apoll Apollonius apotheosis argues Augustus Biblical Literature body Book of Revelation Caesar Augustus chapter Christ Christology construction context Corinthians cosmic courage crucifixion culinity cult cultural death of Jesus depiction disciples discourse discussion display divine early Christian effeminacy elite emperor empire eunuch example female feminine Feminist figure Fortress Press Fourth Gospel gender identity gender ideology God’s Gospel of John Gospel of Mark Gospel of Matthew Greco-Roman Greek hegemonic masculinity Hellenistic honor Ibid ideal masculinity ideology of masculinity imperial cult imperial masculinity interpretation Jerusalem Jewish Johannine Jesus king lamb Luke Luke-Acts Luke’s Maccabees male manly Mark’s Markan Jesus masculine ideology masculine status Matthean Jesus Matthew’s Gospel Moore Moses narrative noble Octavian one’s Paul Paul’s perspective Philo Philostratus reference resistance rhetoric Roman imperial Rome ruler scene scribes self-control sexual Sophia story Suetonius suggests teaching temple Testament Testament Christology tradition University Press virtue Wisdom women words