Transgressing New Testament Classrooms with Thecla
Anna Cwikla [+]
University of Toronto
Once viewed as evidence of the leadership of women, Thecla in the Acts of Paul and Thecla is now seen as a narrative tool in the patriarchal literary and cultural landscape of ancient Christianity. Nevertheless, the disruptive nature of Thecla reverberates in classrooms and conferences in what remains the male-dominated field of early Christianity. This essay argues that while the character of Thecla is largely stymied by the interests of men in an ancient context, in modern contexts she transgresses boundaries not only with respect to gendered expectations but also as an apocryphal figure in an otherwise canonically centered field.