St. Thecla: Remembering Paul and Being Remembered Through Paul

In: Vigiliae Christianae
Peter-Ben Smit VU University Amsterdam, Utrecht University, University of Pretoria

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This paper interprets the Acts of Thecla, as they are part of the non-canonical Acts of Paul (and Thecla) as a piece of literature that seeks to make the Pauline heritage meaningful in a new context and a for a new kind of audience, specifically through a renewed accentuation of his apostleship and his teaching on self-control. By remembering Paul as Thecla’s mentor and subsequent colleague in the apostolic ministry, the Acts of Thecla make the Pauline ministry relevant and accessible for those whose unmasculine bodies would not otherwise have presented them as plausible, or even viable candidates for this “job.” The papers uses the notion of cultural memory to achieve its aim.

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