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Maranatha: Women’s Funerary Rituals and Christian Origins
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Maranatha: Women’s Funerary Rituals and Christian Origins


Fortress Press 2010

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Gathering Interest


Kathleen Corley continues her examination of women’s roles at the beginnings of Christianity with this groundbreaking new study of women’s funerary rituals and lament customs in the ancient Roman world. She finds in these rituals important connections with Gospel accounts of women’s visits to the tomb of Jesus and of his resurrection “on the third day.” Examining texts, catacomb art, and inscriptions, she articulates a new and exciting role for women mourners at the heart of Christian origins.

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Key Features

  • Examines women's funerary rituals in ancient Rome and Greece
  • Analyzes the Gospel events surrounding Christ's death and resurrection in light of its cultural context
  • Cites biblical and extra-biblical sources


  • Women and Early Christian Meals and Associations
  • Women's Funerary Ritual, Meals, and Lament in Antiquity
  • Celebratory Meals of the Kingdom of God and Meals of Jesus' Presence
  • The Eucharist and Meals for the Dead
  • The Passion Story as a Lament Story for the Dead
One of the most important works in recent years to trace the active role of women in the formation of Christian tradition. Corley’s thesis is bold and challenging and touches upon central aspects of the study of Christian origins, including the development of the Passion Narratives and empty tomb stories. Drawing upon cross-cultural studies, the volume includes meticulous research on women’s lament traditions, women’s roles in the cult of the dead, and participation in funerary banquets.

—Margaret MacDonald, professor of religious studies, St. Francis Xavier University Lutheran Seminary

Product Details

  • Title: Maranatha: Women’s Funerary Rituals and Christian Origins
  • Author: Kathleen E. Corley
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 280

About Kathleen E. Corley

Kathleen E. Corley is professor of New Testament and Christianity at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, and a member of the Jesus Seminar. She is the author of Women and the Historical Jesus: Feminist Myths of Christian Origins and Private Women, Public Meals: Social Conflict in the Synoptic Tradition.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition