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women in Christianity, church history, early church, gender roles, gender and Christianity, women and Christianity, women in antiquity, first century church


At its earliest, Christianity is a religion of respect and dignity for women. This paper examines the experience and contributions of women to Christianity, beginning at the time of Christ and continuing to through to approximately 300 A.D., or shortly before the Nicene Creed was developed. This paper demonstrates the way the church, from the outset, has largely relied on the contributions and gifts of women in order to fulfill its mission. This paper then applies this historic context to the American church in issues of life and gender, concluding that it is the recognition and partnership with women, not the segmentation of gender roles, that will bring clarity to issues of great interest to American Christians: pro-life ethic, gender confusion, and feminism.



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