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    Influential Women Left Out of Christianity’s History

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    In building its significant history, Christianity was recently called out for failing to include many of its key players, specifically the female ones.

    In building its significant history, Christianity was recently called out for failing to include many of its key players, specifically the female ones.

    The University of Manchester’s Professor Kate Cooper immersed herself in a 5-year research project in an effort to give these women their rightful places in history.

    The scholar and author points out that prior to the Roman Emperor Constantine’s taking up the religion in 313 AD, Christianity wasn’t associated with any larger institution.

    It was then that the established male leaders in the empire began to assume the major roles in the practice and spread of the religion.

    Before that, women were free to – and did – have significant roles in the practice and expansion of Christianity.

    Among them was Perpetua of Carthage who chose death over denouncing her faith in spite of the wishes of her father.

    According to Cooper, the journal Perpetua wrote while in prison awaiting her execution is a far cry from the image of woman Christianity promotes today.

    Included in the matters explored in her book Band of Angels Cooper traces how it happened that Christian female ideals morphed from Perpetua’s activism and martyrdom to an emphasis on domesticity and chastity.