Research, identify, analyze and discuss the difficulty of working with ancient primary sources on the topic of
Women in early Christianity.
For your mini research paper you are required to identify, analyze, and discuss the issues or problems associated
with two primary sources used by scholars in the study of Women in early Christianity. This can involve
investigating the historical documentation around a named or unnamed woman in the New Testament, or other early
Christian writing, a named or unnamed woman in an inscription, or burial portrait in any media. Your sources may
be ancient texts (sacred, literary, historical, polemical, apocryphal, gnostic, epigraphical, etc.), ancient works
of art, or an archaeological site related to women. N.B. For a source to be considered a bona-fide archaeological
site, you must be able to show that scholars (not media stars) have published articles in scholarly journals or
books about the site (documentary films are not accepted as a substitute for scholarly articles or books).
Specific instructions for writing this mini research paper:
Generally, the types of issues with primary sources encountered by scholars include but are not limited to:
Identification: how do we know the source is early Christian?
Authenticity: how do we know the source is not a fake?
Dating: what methods are used to date a text, work of art, archaeological site?
Once we can satisfy ourselves that the original text/image falls within the specified time range, what internal
problems does the text or image present? E.g. inconsistencies, anachronisms, interpolations, copying, repairing.
What criteria can be used to assess whether a female character in a text or a visual representation of a female figure might be historical?
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