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Thecla, the Ideal Christian: Discipleship Ideals from the Second Century to the Fourth
University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2203-7977
2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the beginning of his hagiography of his beloved sister Macrina (the Younger, ca. 330–379), Gregory of Nyssa (ca. 330–395) puts great emphasis on the parallel between Macrina and the second-century literary figure of Thecla, known from the second-century Acts of Paul and Thecla. By doing so, he suggests that the personal qualities of Macrina that he intents to laud in his hagiography are paralleled by Thecla – but what are those? Divided by a gap of two centuries, during which time the Christian movement has developed from a fringe faction into an imperially supported religion, the historical circumstances of the literary figures of Thecla and Macrina are hardly comparable, and the traits demanded by Christians in such differing circumstances could be vastly different. This paper aims to discern the discipleship ideals – personal qualities of an ideal Christian – are presented throughout the narrative of both the Life of Macrina and the Acts of Paul and Thekla, and to discuss whether Gregory’s discipleship ideals are continuous with that of the previous author, or if Gregory distorts the image of Thecla to promote a different set of ideals. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021.
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-1429OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ths-1429DiVA, id: diva2:1595049
Conference
First International Conference on Early Christian Literature, Late Antique and Byzantine Hagiography: “Literary Connections between the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles and the Saints’ Lives – Portraits of Holy Wo(men)” (Valencia 1–3 September)
Available from: 2021-09-17 Created: 2021-09-17 Last updated: 2023-10-11

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Berglund, Carl Johan

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard
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Language
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  • nn-NB
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