By Shelly Matthews
The booklet stories illustration, interpreting the repeated portrayal of wealthy girls as helping and/or changing to early Judaism in its numerous varieties. It additionally indicates how those assets can be utilized in reconstructing women's historical past, hence attractive present feminist debates in regards to the courting of rhetorical presentation of girls in texts to old reality.
Because lots of those texts communicate of high-standing women's conversion to Judaism and early Christianity, this booklet additionally engages within the present debate approximately no matter if early Judaism used to be a missionary faith. the writer argues that concentrating on those tales of girls converts and adherents, that have been principally overlooked in prior discussions of the missionary query, units the missionary query in a brand new, extra sufficient framework.
The first bankruptcy elucidates a narrative in Josephus's Antiquities of the mishaps of 2 Roman matrons dedicated to Isis and Jewish cults by way of contemplating the typical Hellenistic topos linking high-standing girls, promiscuity, and non secular impropriety. the rest chapters reveal that during spite of this topos, Josephus, Luke, and different non secular apologists did inform tales of wealthy women's institutions with their groups for confident rhetorical impression. In so doing, the e-book demanding situations the common assumption that women's organization with "foreign" spiritual cults was once continuously derided, questions scholarly arguments approximately private and non-private roles in antiquity, and invitations mirrored image on problems with project and conversion in the higher framework of Greco-Roman benefaction.