8. “There Is No Male and Female”
Galatians and Gender Trouble
The Universal Spirit and the Body of Differences
Recently, feminist theory has provided us with extraordinarily subtle analyses of the ways that the mind/ body split is inextricably bound up with the western discourse of gender. The work of Judith Butler is of particular importance. She argues that the critique of dualism is in fact at the heart of the founding text of modern feminist theory, Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex:
Although Beauvoir is often understood to be calling for the right of women, in effect, to become existential subjects and hence, for inclusion within the terms of an abstract universality, her position also implies a fundamental critique of the very disembodiment of the abstract masculine epistemological subject. That subject is abstract to the extent that it disavows its socially marked embodiment and, further, projects that disavowed and disparaged embodiment on to the feminine sphere, effectively renaming the body as female. This association of the body with the female works along magical relations of reciprocity whereby the female sex becomes restricted to its body, and the male body, fully disavowed, becomes, paradoxically, the incorporeal instrument of an ostensibly radical freedom. Beauvoir's analysis implicitly poses the question: Through what act of negation and disavowal does the masculine pose as a disembodied universality and the feminine get constructed as a disavowed corporeality? (Butler 1990, 12)
I am tracing one of the historical trajectories along which this act of negation, disavowal, and construction takes place. In her book, The Man of Reason: “Male” and “Female” in Western Philosophy, Genevieve Lloyd has described the historical process within philosophy wherein the universal mind came to be identified as male, while the gendered body became female (1984, 7, 26). I am trying to do two things: to further specify the cultural mechanisms which rendered this gender ontology dominant in our formation and to show that and how “the Jew” has been constructed analogously to “Woman” within the culture and by a very similar historical vector. As I have argued in the first chapter, the specific historical occasion of the merger in Philo of Plato and Genesis 2 synergistically enhanced this ideological process in the world of Hellenistic Judaism and from hence to much of Christianity. In this chapter, I am going to concentrate on the question of gender through a close and contextualized reading of the crucial Pauline texts.
Paul's “Backsliding” Feminism
As I have been arguing throughout, Paul was motivated by a Hellenistic desire for the One, which among other things produced an ideal of a universal human essence, beyond difference and hierarchy. This universal humanity, however, was predicated (and still is) on the dualism of the flesh and the spirit, such that while the body is particular, marked through practice as Jew or Greek, and through anatomy as male or female, the spirit is universal. The strongest expression of this Pauline cultural criticism is Galatians and especially 3:28–29. 1 Corinthians, on the other hand, has been read and used within much Christian practice as a powerful defense of a cultural conservatism. Making 1 Corinthians the hermeneutical key to Paul has had fateful cultural consequences, although to be sure such a reading has also been the product of the very ideologies that it eventually underpinned. I have been claiming throughout that the major motivating force behind Paul's ministry was a profound vision of a humanity undivided by ethnos, class, and sex. If Paul took “no Jew or Greek” as seriously as all of Galatians attests that he clearly did, how could he possibly—unless he is incoherent or a hypocrite—not have taken “no male and female” with equal seriousness (Fiorenza 1983, 210)? The task of my reading here, among other things, is to articulate a coherent reading of Paul as a social and cultural critic, i.e., reading Galatians very seriously while also making sense of Corinthians (cp. Gager 1983, 226).
I am, of course, not the first critic to attempt this task. In her justly famous feminist reconstruction of Christian origins, In Memory of Her, Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza reproduces an “apocryphal” female epistle of Phoebe, written by one of Fiorenza's students. This document contains the following lines:
The second story is one I would like to discuss with Paul who lately seems so concerned with putting women back in “their proper places.” He is so taken up with giving a good impression to the pagans that he is reverting to his rabbinic prejudices I think. As if the proper place of woman was in the home bearing children—“woman is the glory of man” indeed! Surely with his background he would know where Genesis puts woman: “in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” What a strange man he is. In his letter to us he so firmly emphasized the equality of woman and man in marriage; in the same letter he raged on and on about hairstyles in the assembly.…And, even more pointed, are these words from his letter to our Galatian neighbours: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” I do fear that some people hear, not these words of Paul which so clearly reflect the attitude and teaching of Jesus our Wisdom but hear instead his returns to the past before he received the freedom of the Spirit. I shudder to think that some time in the future a leader of one of the churches will say, “Gentiles, slaves and women cannot become part of the ministry of the Word because Jesus did not entrust the apostolic charge to them.” When I said that to Paul, he laughed uproariously and exclaimed, “Phoebe you are a person with the strangest notions! If any of my letters do survive, only someone bewitched will fail to see the difference between my preaching of the Good News and my ramblings about cultural problems and situations. People from another age will easily disregard the cultural trappings and get to the heart of the message.” If only that distinction were as clear to the rest of us as it is to Paul! (Fiorenza 1983, 63–64)
Fiorenza, of course, quotes this discourse very approvingly. This student writing, according to her, “can highlight the educational and imaginative value of retelling and rewriting biblical androcentric texts from a feminist critical perspective.” What we have here, in fact, is a fairly typical move of certain Christian feminists. One aspect of Pauline discourse, indeed constituted by only one (crucial) verse in Galatians, is rendered the essential moment of his message about gender, while the rest is relegated to an incompletely exorcised demonized Jewish past. I submit here two propositions: The first is that such a reading of Paul will simply not stand up critically and, indeed, trivializes him beyond retrieval. Paul's so-called “ramblings” about cultural problems and situations are, indeed, at the heart of his ministry, as Fiorenza herself indicates (226). The second is that no feminist critical perspective will be progressive if it is dependent on false and prejudicial depictions of Judaism—the Rabbis presumably lacked the background that included reading “in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”—or, for that matter, prejudicial representations of so-called paganism.
I have not cited Fiorenza here because she is in any way an egregious offender in these respects; if anything, she has made special efforts not to fall into such traps. For that reason, however, this lapse is all the more symptomatic. Her student has failed to produce an acceptable solution, but she certainly has exposed the problem. For there is a major issue here for Pauline studies. On the issue of gender, as on several other matters of equal significance, Paul seems to have produced a discourse which is so contradictory as to be almost incoherent. In Galatians, Paul seems indeed to be wiping out social differences and hierarchies between the genders, in addition to those that obtain between ethnic groups and socioeconomic classes, while in Corinthians he seems to be reifying and reemphasizing precisely those gendered hierarchical differences. Fiorenza's student's answer to this dilemma comprehends, in fact, two types of standard approaches to such problems in Pauline studies. One is that there is conflict within Paul between an unreconstructed Jewish past and his Christian present, and the other is that Paul was given to caving in under external “pagan” pressures, even on fundamental and critical points in his ideology. In a third approach to this and other similar problems, Paul is granted absolution, as it were, from the sin of inconsistency by being absolved of any desire for consistency to start with. According to this version of Paul, he was not a systematic thinker, and all of his pronouncements are oriented toward the local problems with which each of his epistles is dealing (Räisänen 1980; Räisänen 1985). Thus, while writing to the Galatians, Paul emphasized the social equality of the sexes in the new Christian reality, but when writing to the Corinthians, for whom such notions of equality had apparently become spiritually and socially dangerous, he backtracked or backslid and reinstated gender difference and hierarchies.
In my view, none of these ways of understanding Paul is adequate, and I wish to propose here a different way of reading him, one which is generated, no less than the reading produced by Fiorenza's student, by feminist reading practices, politics, and theory. Let me begin by restating the problem. First of all, there is the question of apparent contradiction between Galatians and Corinthians. This contradiction obtains on two levels. First, in the baptismal formula in Galatians 3:28, the phrase “There is no male and female” is included, while in the Corinthians (1 Cor. 12:12–13) version it is dropped. Second, much of the advice on marriage and general discussion of gender in Corinthians seems to imply that there very much is and ought to be male and female in the Christian communities and households, certainly insofar as marriage is to continue. Finally, even within Corinthians itself, there seems to be much tension between “egalitarian” notions of the status of the sexes and rigidly hierarchical ones. I am going to propose a partially new resolution of these contradictions within the context of my overall interpretation of Paul's thought, because these expressions and tensions function within the entire system. I will argue in the end that Paul is caught here on the horns of a dilemma not of his own making, as it were, and one on which we are impaled into post-modernity and (embryonic) post-patriarchy—the myth of the primal androgyne.
The construction I wish to build here is constituted on the following notion: The famous “myth of the primal androgyne,” together with the myth of Adam's rib, provides the ideological base of gender in our culture until this day. According to this myth, the first human being was an androgyne who was later split into the two sexes. However—and this is the catch—in the Hellenistic world and late antiquity, the primal androgyne was almost always imagined as disembodied, so that the androgyne was really no-body and dual-sex was no-sex. This myth, I suggest, encodes the dualist ideology whereby a spiritual androgyny is contrasted with the corporeal (and social) division into sexes.
Given this general understanding of the context of Pauline thought and expression, I can begin to set out my interpretation of the differences and apparent contradictions between Galatians and Corinthians on gender. To put it briefly and somewhat crudely: Galatians is, on my reading, a theology of the spirit and Corinthians a theology of the body. In Galatians Paul's major concern is to defend his doctrine of justification by faith as a means of including the gentiles in the Israel of God, and he violently rejects anything that threatens that notion and that inclusion. “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor freeman; there is no male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.’ If, however, you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26–29).
But in Corinthians, Paul is fighting against pneumatics who seem both radically anti-body and radically antinomian. He thinks the whole Christian mission is in danger, having fallen into the peril that he anticipated at the end of Galatians of allowing the spirit to provide opportunity for the flesh, because the realities of the flesh and its demands have not been attended to. He produces, therefore, a theology of the body that balances and completes, but does not contradict, the theology of the spirit of Galatians. It is no wonder, then, that this is the text which is richest in “halakhic” prescriptions, and no wonder, as well, that it is this text which inscribes hierarchy between men and women in the marriage relationship. In the life of the spirit, in Paul as in Philo, there may be no male and female, but in the life of the body there certainly is. Next is the fact that in Corinthians there is an explicit and frequent appeal to both Jewish tradition and that of apostolic, Jewish Christianity. Several times in this letter Paul refers to his passing on of tradition (παράδοσις) that he had received, and all but one of his citations of traditions attributed explicitly to Jesus appear in this letter as well (Tomson 1990, 72–73), while according to Wire's interpretation all such citations are in Corinthians (Wire 1990, 272). All this is in direct contrast (not contradiction) to Galatians, in which Paul emphasizes that he is not authorized by tradition, by the teaching of Jesus in the flesh, that he is an apostle not from men but from God, authorized by his visionary experience of the spirit. It is no accident that the Pauline text that most thematizes the body is the one that also most manifests such fleshly concerns as rules and regulations, tradition, literal interpretations, and authority. I suggest that we best read Paul as a middle way between the insistence on literality and corporeality, perhaps even the monism of the Jerusalem Church, on the one hand, and the radical dualism of gnostics (and gnostic-like tendencies in the early Church), on the other. Paul's is a dualism that makes room for the body, however much the spirit is more highly valued. In this light I will reread Paul on gender.
“There is no Male and Female”
In short, what Socrates has shown is that gender is not a pertinent criterion for dividing the human race except in the realm of biology, where childbirth and engendering are distinct functions. In social life, where personal aptitudes are all that matters, sex cannot be the determining characteristic. Was Plato therefore an advocate of equal rights for women, a male who acknowledged the aptitudes and talents of females? Shall we allow ourselves to fall under the spell of his thinking? If we do, we incur the penalty of Plato's overestimation of the identity of all human beings, his denial of difference.
Crucial to an understanding of Paul on gender is a proper appreciation of the history of the phrase “There is no male and female” in Galatians 3:28. It has been recognized, at least since the publication of Wayne Meeks's landmark “The Image of the Androgyne,” that Paul is here citing Genesis 1:27: “And God created the earth-creature in His image; in the image of God, He created him; male and female He created them” (Meeks 1973). One of the proofs that the verse is being alluded to in the Pauline formula is linguistic: Paul shifts from nouns—Jew, Greek, slave, freeman—to adjectives, using ἄρσεν (male) and θῆλυ (female) instead of the expected ἀνήρ (man) and γυνή (woman). Second, the use of και (and) in place of the οὐδὲ (or) used in the other phrases gives this away. The “ungrammaticality” marks this as a site of intertextuality, sociolinguistic heterogeneity, dialogue in the Bakhtinian sense of the word.
Meeks and more recently Dennis Ronald Macdonald have demonstrated that in this baptismal formula is encapsulated a very early Christian mythic formation and its liturgical expression in the pre-Pauline church (Macdonald 1987 and 1988). What was the meaning of this “original” baptism? According to Meeks, this was a “performative” ritual utterance in which “a factual claim is being made, about an ‘objective’ change in reality which fundamentally modifies social roles” (Meeks 1973, 182). Whatever the “original meanings,” however, I think that the entire context of the passage in Galatians leads rather to the conclusion that what is being referred to is an ecstatic experience, in which are modified not social roles but ontological categories in the pneumatic moment of initiation. Paul's whole claim at this moment is based on an appeal to the Galatians' memory of their ecstatic experiences at baptism. This interpretation would tend, of course, to make Pauline baptism more similar to the initiatory rites of the Mysteries, in which, as Meeks himself argues, “the exchange of sexual roles, by ritual transvestism for example, was an important symbol for the disruption of ordinary life's categories in the experience of initiation. This disruption, however, did not ordinarily reach beyond the boundaries of the initiatory experience—except, of course, in the case of devotees who went on to become cult functionaries” (170). Following the researches of Dennis Ronald Macdonald we can further assume that the expression “no male and female” originally referred indeed to a complete erasure of sexual difference in some forms of earliest Christianity and is cited by Paul here from such contexts (Macdonald 1987). In such groups, the declaration that there is no male or female may very well have had radical social implications in a total breakdown of hierarchy and either celibacy or libertinism. The key to my interpretation of Paul here is that though he did intend a social meaning and function for baptism, namely, the creation of a new humanity in which indeed all difference would be effaced in the new creation in Christ, he did not—and this is crucial—he did not think that this new creation could be entirely achieved on the social level yet. Some of the program was already possible; some would have to wait. This interpretation will be further developed below. First, I must return for a while to Philo, whose ideas are much more explicit than Paul's, forming, I claim, an important partial analog to them.
Philo's Spiritual Androgyne
For Philo the first human—the male-and-female of Genesis 1—was in truth a spiritual androgyne. Thus both myths are comprised in his discourse: a primal androgyne of no-sex and a primal male/secondary female. Since the two texts, the one in Genesis 1 and the one in Genesis 2, refer to two entirely different species, he can claim that only the first one is called “in the image of God,” that is, only the singular, unbodied Adam-creature is referred to as being in God's likeness, and his male-and-femaleness must be understood spiritually. That is to say that the designation of this creature as male-and-female means really that it is neither male nor female. We find this explicitly in another passage of Philo:
After this he says that “God formed man by taking clay from the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life” (Gen. ii. 7). By this also he shows very clearly that there is a vast difference between the man thus formed and the man that came into existence earlier after the image of God: for the man so formed is an object of sense-perception, partaking already of such or such quality, consisting of body and soul, man or woman, by nature mortal; while he that was after the Image was an idea or type or seal, an object of thought, incorporeal, neither male nor female, by nature incorruptible. (Philo 1929b, 107)
Philo's interpretation is not an individual idiosyncrasy. As Thomas Tobin has shown, he is referring to a tradition known to him from before (Tobin 1983, 32). The fundamental point which seems to be established is that for the Hellenistic Jews, the one-ness of pure spirit is ontologically privileged in the constitution of humanity. This platonic Jewish anthropology is elegantly summed up with respect to Philo by Steven Fraade: “Philo inherits from Plato a radically dualistic conception of the universe. In this view, the material world of sense perception is an imperfect reflection of the intelligible order which emanates from God. The human soul finds its fulfillment through separation from the world of material desires, a world that lacks true reality, and through participation in the life of the spirit and divine intellect; the soul finally reunites the true self with its divine source and thereby achieves immortality” (Fraade 1986, 263–64; emphasis added). Since, as we have seen, that primal state is one of spiritual androgyny, in which male-and-female means neither male nor female, this fulfillment would naturally be a return to that state of noncorporeal androgyny. This notion had, moreover, social consequences as well in the image of perfected human life which Philo presents.
In his On the Contemplative Life, Philo describes a Jewish sect, the Therapeutae, living in his time on the shores of Lake Mareotis near Alexandria (Kraemer 1989). It is clear from the tone of his entire depiction of this sect and its practice that he considers it an ideal religious community. The fellowship consists of celibate men and women who live in individual cells and spend their lives in prayer and contemplative study of allegorical interpretations of Scripture (such as the ones that Philo produced). Once a year (or once in seven weeks), the community comes together for a remarkable ritual celebration. Following a simple meal and a discourse, all of the members begin to sing hymns together. Initially, however, the men and the women remain separate from each other in two choruses. The extraordinary element is that as the celebration becomes more ecstatic, the men and the women join to form one chorus, “the treble of the women blending with the bass of the men.” I suggest that this model of an ecstatic joining of the male and the female in a mystical ritual recreates in social practice the image of the purely spiritual masculo-feminine first human of which Philo speaks in his commentary, indeed, that this ritual of the Therapeutae is a return to the originary Adam (Meeks 1973, 179; Macdonald 1988, 289). Although, obviously, the singing and dancing are performed by the body, the state of ecstasy (as its etymology implies) involves a symbolical and psychological condition of being disembodied and thus similar to the primal androgyne. The crux of my argument is that a distinction between androgyny as a mythic notion and one that has social consequences is a false distinction. The myth of the primal androgyne, with all of its inflections, always has social meaning and social significance, for Paul no less than for Philo, for Rabbis, and for Corinthian Christians.
Two points are crucial here as background for a reading of Paul on gender. First of all, the society and religious culture depicted by Philo do permit parity between men and women and religious, cultural creativity for women as for men. Second, this autonomy and creativity in the spiritual sphere are predicated on renunciation of both sexuality and maternity. Spiritual androgyny is attained only by abjuring the body and its difference. I think two factors have joined in the formation of this structure—which will be repeated over and over in the history of western religion, including at least one instance within early modern Judaism. On the materialist level, there is the real-world difference between a woman who is bound to the material conditions of marriage and child-bearing/rearing and a woman who is free of such restraints. Even more to the point, however, is the symbolic side of the issue. Just as in some contemporary feminist philosophy, the category “woman” is produced in the heterosexual relationship, so in Philo as well a female who escapes or avoids such relationships escapes from being a woman. (See also discussion of Tertullian's On the Veiling of Virgins, in D'Angelo forthcoming, where precisely the issue between Tertullian and his opponents is whether virgins are women or not!) This division in Philo is reproduced as well in his interpretations of the status of female figures in the Bible, who fall into two categories: women and virgins (Sly 1990, 71–90). Those biblical figures defined as virgins by Philo are not women and thus do not partake of the base status that he accords to women. Any parity between male and female subsists only in the realm of spiritual and ecstatic experience or in the symbolic spiritual myth of the primal androgyne. What about Paul? Paul never intended for a moment to promulgate a truly “gnostic” doctrine of escape from the body and rejection of it, with all of the social consequences thereby entailed. This is proven by Galatians 5:13–17—“For you were called to freedom, brothers, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh”—i.e., Do not misuse your Christian freedom to allow yourself hedonistic pleasure. Nor did he ever imagine a social eradication of the hierarchical deployment of male and female bodies for married people. While it was possible for him to conceive of a total erasure of the difference between Jew and Greek on the level of the body—all he had to do was to eliminate circumcision, and Jews were just like Greeks; female Jews and Greeks having always been bodily alike—, he, no more than anyone else of his time, could not imagine that male and female bodies would be in any condition other than dominant and dominated when they were in sexual relationship with each other, that is, when they were living “according to the flesh” (Fiorenza 1983, 236). It is (hetero)sexuality, therefore, that produces gender, for Paul as for Philo and, we shall see, within crucially paradigmatic texts of the Christian cultural tradition.
There is thus no contradiction between Galatians and Corinthians on the question of gender. As I have suggested, Paul's preaching always intended a moderate pneumaticism—but not more, a spirit-flesh hierarchy in which spirit was, of course, higher than flesh but the flesh, that is, sexual morality, propriety, and ethics, was not thereby canceled (as the end of Galatians makes entirely clear). Assuming that Paul's original teaching of the Corinthians was similar to the doctrine of the first four chapters of Galatians, it is easy to see where they could have gotten their ideas: no male and female indeed! Galatians 5:25–6:10 shows how clearly Paul anticipated this danger, which seems to have been realized in Corinth. If Paul was not troubled in Galatians by the implications (misreadings, from his point of view) of the quoted ancient formula, it was because the “error” in the understanding of Christianity that concerned him there was in the direction of too much physicality, so the pneumatic, gnostic implications of “There is no male-and-female” were not a stumbling block. In Corinthians, however, where his problem is with Christians who have gone too far (from Paul's ideological standpoint) in the pneumatic direction and he must emphasize, therefore, the theology and ethics of the body, “no-male-and-female” would be exactly antithetical to the message he wishes to promote. And so it is dropped, because Paul perceived that it was open to serious misunderstanding as being applicable to life “according to the flesh” as well as “according to the spirit” (cf. Wire 1990, 137–38). There is thus no contradiction in Paul's thought at all. He held out the possibility of a momentary ecstatic androgyny but only that; on the corporeal level of human society, sex/gender difference was maintained. Paul on gender, it seems to me, represents then neither the more misogynistic trend of such thoroughly Hellenized Jews as Philo nor a breakthrough in the politics of gender as some Christian feminists would have it. His picture of the relations of married people seems most like that of Palestinian Judaism in general, a moderate, “benevolent” domination of women by men, or rather wives by husbands, one which neither permits cruelty to women nor entirely suppresses the subjectivity of women.
Paul's Ethic of the Body
What then is Paul's ethic of the body, his picture of the relations between married men and women, and how does it compare to the detailed rules for married life promulgated by the rabbinic Judaism of the second and following centuries? Careful study of 1 Corinthians 7 supports the conclusion drawn by Peter J. Tomson that Paul's ethic (“halakha”) of sexuality and marriage and “Paul's conception of women was not much different from his [Jewish] contemporaries.” Thus the famous pronouncement of verses 3–5: “Let the husband give the wife what is due to her, and let the wife likewise also give her husband his due” is identical to the provision of the Mishna which provides the same penalties to the husband who refuses sex to his wife and to the wife who refuses sex to her husband (Tomson 1990, 107). Rabbinic literature preserves, moreover, strong polemics against men who out of desire for holiness cease sleeping with their wives (D. Boyarin 1991 provides extensive documentation and critique on this issue). There is, however, one element in Paul's thought on sexuality which divides him sharply from the later rabbinic tradition and connects him rather with certain other trends in contemporary Judaism, and that is the question of celibacy, which, I argue, is crucial to solving the problem that I am about in this chapter.
Tomson has provided us with a suggestive analysis of the cultural context of Paul's discourse on celibacy in 1 Cor. 7 (Tomson 1990, 105–08). The apostle prefers celibacy both personally, practically, and religiously, but is quite unwilling to consider the married state forbidden, condemned, or even disparaged by God. Moreover, since as stated, in his ethic of the obligations of married people to each other, he is close if not identical to Jewish traditions of his day, those who are presently married must fulfill those obligations. The essential similarity between much of Paul's ethic here and other strains within first-century Judaism can be evoked (if not demonstrated) by the following quotation from the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs:
|The commandments of the Lord are double,|
|and they are to be fulfilled with regularity.|
|There is a time for having intercourse with one's wife,|
|and a time to abstain for the purpose of prayer.|
Finally, insofar as Paul himself and Jesus, whom he follows here, seem to reflect a particular attested ancient Jewish tradition against divorce, those who are married ought not to divorce and neither can they separate from their partners to whom they are obligated. We can thus explain all of the details of 1 Corinthians 7 on the basis of the assumption that Paul maintains a two-tiered system of thought regarding sexuality: celibacy as the higher state but marriage as a fully honorable condition for the believing Christian. This is by and large identical to actually attested forms of Palestinian Judaism and not very far from Philo either, except that Philo's tone toward sexuality seems much more negative in affect, reflecting, I think, the greater Greek philosophical influences on him. However, it must be admitted that even Paul, whose dualism was so much less extreme, manifests quite a cold and ambivalent feeling about married sex, regarding it primarily as a defense against lust and fornication. As Peter Brown has written:
What was notably lacking, in Paul's letter, was the warm faith shown by contemporary pagans and Jews that the sexual urge, although disorderly, was capable of socialization and of ordered, even warm, expression within marriage. The dangers of porneia, of potential immorality brought about by sexual frustration, were allowed to hold the center of the stage. By this essentially negative, even alarmist, strategy, Paul left a fatal legacy to future ages. An argument against abandoning sexual intercourse within marriage and in favor of allowing the younger generation to continue to have children slid imperceptibly into an attitude that viewed marriage itself as not more than a defense against desire. In the future, a sense of the presence of “Satan,” in the form of a constant and ill-defined risk of lust, lay like a heavy shadow in the corner of every Christian church. (Brown 1988, 55)
Where I disagree with Brown is when he says, “At the time, however, fornication and its avoidance did not preoccupy Paul greatly. He was concerned to emphasize, rather, the continuing validity of all social bonds. The structure of the household as a whole was at stake. This included the institution of domestic slavery. On this, Paul was adamant: slaves, like wives, must remain in their place” (Brown 1988, 55). On my reading, the situation is exactly opposite. Paul called for freedom and the breaking down of all social bonds. Realizing, however, the unrealizability of that goal—for slaves because of the social unrest and suppression of Christianity that would result, for wives because of porneia—Paul settled for something else, something less than his vision called for, and thus the continuation of the domestic slavery of marriage for those not called to the celibate life (cf. Segal 1990, 172–74). Rabbinic Judaism ultimately went in another direction entirely, increasingly rejecting not only the preferability of celibacy but ultimately even its permissibility. With that rejection, the one avenue of escape into autonomy for women was closed but a much richer and warmer appreciation of sexuality developed (Boyarin 1993).
This interpretation of Paul is coherent with the interpretation of his anthropology in general offered in this book. If celibacy corresponds to “the spirit” and marriage to “the flesh,” then the axiological relationship between these two states fits perfectly, for as I have argued throughout, the flesh, while lower than the spirit in Paul's thought, is by no means rejected or despised by him. The analogy with celibacy versus marriage is exact. Marriage is a lower state than celibacy—He who marries a virgin does well and he who does not marry does better (verse 38)—but not by any means forbidden or despised. However, and this is the crux, any possibility of an eradication of male and female and the corresponding social hierarchy is possible only on the level of the spirit, either in ecstasy at baptism or perhaps permanently for the celibate. In other words, I surmise that although Paul does not cite the myth of the primal androgyne, his gender discourse seems just as likely to be an outgrowth of that ideological structure as is that of Philo—no male and female—in the spirit, but in the flesh, yes indeed.
“The man is the head of the woman”
The crucial text for strengthening this interpretation, or at least for rendering it plausible, is arguably 1 Corinthians 11:1–16—“in the same letter he raged on and on about hairstyles in the assembly.”  In this passage, on my reading, Paul makes practically explicit the ratio between the politics of the spirit and the politics of the body. The crucial verses are 3, 7–9, and 11–12:
I would have you know, however, that every man's head is Christ, but a woman's head is the man, and Christ's head is God. (11:3)
For a man must not veil his head, since he is the image and reflection of God but a woman is the reflection of man. For man did not originate from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman's sake, but woman for man's. (11:7–9)
Of course, in the Lord there is neither woman without man nor man without woman. For just as woman originated from man, so, too, man exists through woman. But everything comes from God. (11:11–12)
These verses have been much discussed from many points of view. It is far beyond the scope of the present chapter to analyze either the theological or hermeneutic issues involved in the text, but however we interpret them, it is clear that Paul explicitly thematizes two (partially opposed) forms of conceptualizing gender, one in which there is an explicit hierarchy and one in which there is none. Paul himself marks this difference (the gap between the hierarchy of verses 7–9 and the “there is neither woman without man nor man without woman” of verse 11) as the situation of “in the Lord” (ἐν κυρίῳ). I do not think it is going too far—nor is it unprecedented in Pauline interpretation—to connect this “in the Lord” with the “in Christ” of Galatians 3:28 and read both passages as a representation of an androgyny that exists on the level of the spirit, however much hierarchy subsists and needs to subsist in the flesh, in the life of society even in Christian communities. These two levels might well correspond, indeed, to the two myths of the origins of the sexes as found in Genesis 1 and 2. The no-male-or-female, which is “in the Lord,” or “in Christ,” would represent the androgyne of chapter 1, understood, as in Philo, as neither male nor female, while the “since he is the image and reflection of God, but a woman is the reflection of man. For man did not originate from woman, but woman from man,” which Paul cites here, would be a reference to the story as found in chapter 2! “In the Lord” might even be seen then as an allusion to “in the image of God,” and the latter human of chapter 2 would be “in the flesh” in contrast. This perhaps speculative interpretation is dramatically strengthened if Josef Kürzinger's suggestion is accepted that verse 11 means, “In the Lord woman is not different from man nor man from woman” (Kürzinger 1978). Ultimately, as Karen King suggests, the two myths of gender “are quite compatible in that both imagine the ideal to be a unitary self, whether male or androgynous, whose nature is grounded in an ontology of transcendence and an epistemology of origins.” 
These verses demonstrate that Paul had not changed his mind or backslid from Galatians; they also explain, given the context of the Corinthian correspondence, why he chose to omit “There is no male and female” in the Corinthian version of the baptism. I suggest, therefore, that for Paul just as much as for the Corinthians, a state of androgyny, a cancellation of gender and sexuality, would have been the ideal. The difference between them lies in the application of the principle. The Corinthians believe that they have already achieved a state of perfection that permits the acting out of the cancellation of gender difference, whereas Paul is skeptical of their achievements (cf. 4:8). This does not, however, imply that for Paul the ideal of androgyny has no social consequences.
There are in fact three (not mutually exclusive) options for a social enactment of the myth of the primal androgyne. Some gnostics (and perhaps the Corinthians) seem to have held that once having attained the spirit, humans transcended gender entirely and forever whether in celibacy or libertinage. Philo, on the other hand, restricts such transcending redemption from gender to celibates, and then only to special ritualized moments of ecstasy. Paul's strictures against women with short hair and the speaking out of women prophets (14:37–38)—if the latter is genuinely Pauline—seem to suggest a third option: For all (not only celibates) there is no male and female, but only momentarily in the ritualized ecstasy of baptism. It is only then, in this life, that people attain the status of life in the spirit, in Christ or in the Lord, in which there is no male and female. Another way of saying this is that Paul holds that ontologically—according to the spirit—there is a permanent change in the status of gender at baptism, but insofar as people are still living in their unredeemed bodies, gender transcendence is not yet fully realized on the social level—according to the flesh. Perhaps, we might say, that final realization awaits the Parousia. I am thus inclined to agree with Tertullian's view that the notion of Paul giving celibate women the power to teach, preach, and baptize that is functional, social equivalence to men seems hard to credit. On the other hand, it may not be gainsaid that he had women associates in his ministry, nor that he implied that virgins could achieve spiritual states unavailable to the married (7:32–35). All three of these possibilities are equally dependent, however, on a notion that gender difference exists only at one ontological level, the outer or physical, the corporeal, but that at the level of true existence, the spiritual, there is no gender, that is, they depend on dualism. Much of the immediate post-Pauline tradition seems to have adopted a version of the first option—namely, that celibate women could attain a permanent state of the erasure of gender, a development that has had profound effects on the later discourse of gender in European culture.
Thekla and Perpetua; or, How Women Can Become Men
The myth of the primal androgyne—that is, an anthropology whereby souls are engendered and only the fallen body is divided into sexes—is thus a dominant structuring metaphor of gender for the early church and for the Christian West as a whole. There are many different versions of the application of this myth. In some versions of early Christianity, all Christians must remain celibate, and in that spiritual existence a total eradication of gender difference becomes imaginable. In some communities such celibate men and women lived together in the same dwellings, arousing the suspicion and calumny of their pagan neighbors and the ire of more establishment Christian leaders. In other communities, more in tune with the Pauline and deutero-Pauline message, there was a two-tiered society: the celibate, in which some form of gender parity obtained, and the married, for which the hierarchical Haustafeln (tables of household practice found in the “deutero-Pauline” Colossians and Ephesians) were the definitive ethic. This could be accompanied by more or less approbation of the married state, more or less privilege for virginity/celibacy over marriage. In every case, however, virginity was privileged to greater or lesser extent over the sexual life, and, more to the point of the present argument, it was only in virginity, that is, only in a social acting out of a disembodied spiritual existence, that gender parity ever existed (Clark 1986). Female humans could escape being “women” by opting out of sexual intercourse. Just as in Philo, virgins were not women but androgynes, a representation, in the appearance of flesh, of the purely spiritual non-gendered, presocial essence of human being. For all of these forms of Christianity, as for Hellenistic Judaism, this dualism is the base of the anthropology: equality in the spirit, hierarchy in the flesh. As a second-century follower of Paul, Clement of Alexandria, expressed it, “As then there is sameness [with men and women] with respect to the soul, she will attain to the same virtue; but as there is difference with respect to the peculiar construction of the body, she is destined for child-bearing and house-keeping” (Clement 1989, 20). As this quotation suggests and Christian practice enacts, this version of primal androgyny provided two elements in the gender politics of the early Church. On the one hand it provided an image or vision of a spiritual equality for all women—which did not, however, have social consequences for the married; on the other hand, it provided for real autonomy and social parity for celibate women, for those who rejected “the peculiar construction of the body,” together with its pleasures and satisfactions. As Clement avers in another place, “For souls themselves by themselves are equal. Souls are neither male nor female when they no longer marry nor are given in marriage” (Stromateis 6.12.100, qu. in Macdonald 1988, 284).
Much of the paradigmatic literature of early Christianity involves this representation of gender and its possibilities. Elizabeth Castelli has described the situation with regard to one of the earliest and most explicit texts of this type, The Gospel of Thomas:
The double insistence attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas saying—that Mary should remain among the disciples at the same time as she must be made male—points to the paradoxical ideological conditions that helped to shape the lives of early Christian women. At once they are to have access to holiness, while they also can do so only through the manipulation of conventional gender categories. (Castelli 1991b, 33)
As I have suggested, however, these were not the paradoxical ideological conditions only of Christianity but similar indeed to paradoxes of contemporary Judaism as well. The Therapeutrides, too, have the same access to spirituality as their male counterparts—for all of them, however, at the expense of conventional gender categories. One of the most striking representations of such manipulation of gender is the story of the martyr Perpetua, brilliantly analyzed recently by Castelli (1991b). This story enacts both sorts of gender erasure. On the social level, the marks of Perpetua's gendered status are indicated by her leaving of her family, renunciation of her husband (who is not even mentioned), and eventual giving up of her baby, together with a miraculous drying up of the milk in her breasts, that is, a sort of symbolic restoration of virginity. The crux of the story, however, and of Castelli's argument is that in Perpetua's dream in which she becomes a man and defeats her opponent in the gladiatorial ring, her victory is, in fact, paradoxically a representation of her death as a martyr, while defeat for her would have meant giving in to her father, renouncing her Christianity, and continuing to live (42). Life in the spirit represents death in the body and the converse, and the erasure of conventional gender is thus also an event in the spirit. This is, then, a drastic version of Paul's eradication of gender in Christ.
The best representation, however, of an androgynous status for Christian celibate women in late antiquity is the story of Thekla, also treated by Castelli. This apocryphal female companion to Paul refuses to marry, cuts her hair short like that of a man, dresses in men's clothing, and accompanies Paul on his apostolic missions. Castelli notes with regard to this and similar stories:
It is striking that in all of these narratives, the women who perform these outward gestures of stretching dominant cultural expectations related to gender are also embracing a form of piety (sexual renunciation and virginity) which resists dominant cultural expectations vis-à-vis social roles. (44)
If my reading of Philo and Paul and of the general cultural situation is compelling, however, this connection is not so much striking as absolutely necessary. Insofar as the myth of the primal, spiritual androgyne is the vital force for all of these representations, androgynous status is always dependent on a notion of a universal spiritual self which is above the differences of the body, and its attainment entails necessarily one or another (or more than one as in the case of Perpetua) of the practices of renouncing the body: ecstasy or virginity or physical death. We thus see that from Philo and Paul through late antiquity gender parity is founded on a dualist metaphysics and anthropology, in which freedom and equality are for pre-gendered, pre-social, disembodied souls, and is predicated on a devaluing and disavowing of the body, usually, but not necessarily, combined with a representation of the body itself as female. On my reading, then, Christian imaginings of gender bending/ blending do not really comprehend a “destabilization of gender identity.” Rather, insofar as they are completely immured in the dualism of the flesh and the spirit, they represent no change whatever in the status of gender (cf. Macdonald 1988, 285). All of these texts are mythic or ritual enactments of the “myth of the primal androgyne” and, as such, simply reinstate the metaphysics of substance, the split between Universal Mind and Disavowed Body. It is striking how closely they match Beauvoir's critique of “the very disembodiment of the abstract masculine epistemological subject,” as described by Butler:
That subject is abstract to the extent that it disavows its socially marked embodiment and, further, projects that disavowed and disparaged embodiment on to the feminine sphere, effectively renaming the body as female. This association of the body with the female works along magical relations of reciprocity whereby the female sex becomes restricted to its body, and the male body, fully disavowed, becomes, paradoxically, the incorporeal instrument of an ostensibly radical freedom.
This trap is, I claim, based in the material conditions of heterosexual marriage, if not—even more depressingly—in the material conditions of heterosexuality itself, and precisely to the extent that Paul was unwilling to disallow or disparage marriage, as some of his more radical followers were to do, something like the pronouncements of Corinthians 11 and the Haustafeln became almost a necessary superstructure. Rather than “resting on the assumed natural differences between the sexes institutionalized in patriarchal marriage,” as Fiorenza puts it, I would imprudently suggest that patriarchal marriage—that is, at least until now—produces such naturalized gender differences (Fiorenza 1983, 207). To be sure Christian women had possibilities for living lives of much greater autonomy and creativity than their rabbinic Jewish sisters, but always on the stringent condition and heavy price of bodily renunciation. Let me make myself absolutely clear: I am not allying myself with Christian conservatives who argue that Paul's pronouncements in Galatians 3:28 did not have social meaning. Paul's entire gospel is a stirring call to human freedom and universal autonomy (cf. Fuller 1985). I think that, within the limitations of Realpolitik, he would have wanted all slaves freed, and he certainly passionately desired the erasure of the boundary between Greek and Jew (Fiorenza 1983, 210). In arguing that “no male-and-female” did not and could not mean a fundamental change in the status of wives, I am not arguing that he was inconsistent (nor being inconsistent myself) in the name of the preservation of male privilege, but rather I am suggesting that Paul held that wives are/were slaves and that their liberation would have meant an end to marriage. Jews and Greeks need ultimately to cease being Jews and Greeks; slaves need to cease ultimately to be slaves, and the equivalent is that husbands and wives need ultimately to cease being husbands and wives, but Paul feels that the last is unrealistic for most people, even Christians: Because of immorality, let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband (7:2). When Paul says, “the form of this world is passing away” (7:31), it seems to me that he is doing two things. On the one hand, he is emphasizing why it is not necessary to engage in radical, immediate social change, in order to achieve the genuine radical reformation of society that he calls for, and on the other hand, he is explaining why having children and families is no longer important. Procreation has no significance for Paul at all. From Paul on through late antiquity, the call to celibacy is a call to freedom (7:32–34). Virgins are not “women.” Rabbinic Judaism, which rejected such dualism and thus celibacy entirely, strongly valorized the body and sexuality but cut off nearly all options for women's lives other than maternity, trapping all women in the temperate and patronizing slavery of wifehood. This should not be read, however, as in any sense a condemnation of Christianity, nor, for that matter, of rabbinic Judaism, for I suspect that all it means is that people in late antiquity had not thought their way out of a dilemma which catches us on its horns even now—in very late antiquity.
1. In drawing this analogy, I should make it clear that I am not reducing the problem of gender domination to an epiphenomenon of difference; nor would I so reduce anti-Semitism. The analogies seem, nevertheless, illuminating as partial accounts of both and, moreover, help explain the historically very well attested association of Jewishness with femaleness as a topos of European culture. [BACK]
2. I wish to spotlight the eloquent remarks of Adele Reinhartz: “While I am concerned about the roles of women within the Jewish community and can offer a critique of their ambiguous portrayal in Judaism's foundational documents, I deplore superficial and apologetically motivated attempts to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity to Judaism on the basis of the respective roles they accord women” (1991, 183). [BACK]
3. See the brief discussion of her work from this perspective by Reinhartz (1991, 166–67). However, I must admit that I find bizarre Fiorenza's comment on Jewish manumission of slaves: “The slave gained complete freedom except for the requirement to attend the synagogue” (214), as if “Christian freedom” did not carry with it also a series of religious obligations. Is the requirement to participate in the Eucharist somehow more free than the requirement to attend synagogue? I feel an echo of a very ancient polemic (and dispute) here. [BACK]
4. There seems to be little recognition that these two explanations are at least partially contradictory, or at any rate, render each other otiose. If it was the “pagans” who pressured Paul to insist on male-female hierarchy, then what is th function of “rabbinic prejudices” here other than to provide a gratuitous slap at Judaism? Incidentally, at the time of Paul, the rabbinic movement did not yet exist, so “rabbinic prejudices” is in any case an anachronism. In fact, as we shall see below, it is also an inaccurate (although widespread) description of the relationship between Pauline “halakha” and that of contemporary Judaism(s), but I anticipate myself. [BACK]
5. I am obviously not of the opinion that 1 Corinthians 11:2–16 can simply be excised by fiat from the Pauline corpus, because of these tensions. See on this Walker (1975) for the pro position and Murphy-O'Connor, O.P. (1976) and Meier (1978) for the con. [BACK]
6. The spherical humans described by Aristophanes in the Symposium, while obviously related genetically to the myth of the primal androgyne, encode quite a different set of meanings; first of all, they are physical, and second of all they are not all androgynes by any means. Aristophanes's myth comes to provide an etiology for sexualities rather than to be an “articulation of the notion that human perfection is only accessible apart from sexual difference,” as Elizabeth Castelli would have it in an article otherwise wholly admirable (1991b, 31). A very important discussion of the Aristophanes text may be found in Laqueur (1990, 52–53 and 260n.82). As I mention below, Philo, who strongly endorses the myth of the primal androgyne in his writing, is thoroughly contemptuous of Aristophanes's story. [BACK]
7. In Boyarin 1993, I have claimed that rabbinic Judaism successfully resisted the mind-body dualism of Hellenism with, however, both positive and negative consequences for sexual politics. One of the strategies for that resistance, I claim, was a parodic appropriation of the myth of the primal androgyne which subverted its ideology. Elizabeth Castelli has asked whether primal androgyny and a primal androgyne are as easily conflated as I am doing and acutely refers to O'Flaherty, who writes: “In religious parlance, androgyny is a much more comprehensive and abstract concept than is implied in this visual [virtual] image of the androgyne: to say that God is androgynous is very different from saying that God is an androgyne.…[To define] the androgyne in the strict sense in which it is convenient to define it here: a creature simultaneously male and female in physical form” (1980, 283). It seems to me, however, that to the extent that we are talking about human beings and not mythical creatures, it is hard to separate androgynes from androgyny, and that is precisely the nub of the whole problem. Either the androgyne is some sort of a universal, abstract, pre-gendered creature—or an idea of humanity, which more or less comes down to the same thing—or it is two people joined in intercourse, with all that may entail in terms of power relations. A true androgyne is just an image; in the imaginary we can imagine anything, but what does it mean on the ground, in terms of real human lives? [BACK]
8. “Of all Paul's letters, 1 Corinthians is thoroughly and intensely concerned with the physical body” (Neyrey 1990, 114). “Word-statistics show a sudden rise in the frequency of sōma in I and II Corinthians and Romans. The denigration of the body at Corinth provides the reason” (Gundry 1976, 50). See below other symptoms of the “corporeality” of Corinthians. This approach, which understands Pauline discourse to be functioning on two levels at the same time, promises a solution as well to the famous question of the so-called indicative alongside the so-called imperative moods of Paul's discourse (Bultmann 1967, 8). Note that my approach answers Bultmann's just methodological demand that approaches to this problem not trace these two moments in Paul back to two historical, psychological origins. As Bultmann writes:
Paul's view of flesh-spirit possesses to a considerable degree the character of the metaphysical dualism that is typical of Hellenistic mystery religions.…On this basis then, it is possible to arrive at an understanding of the antinomy—the occurrence of indicatives and imperatives side by side—that can claim to grasp it in terms of the material itself. For the mystic, otherworldly salvation is a present reality, and since this is the case the indicatives can be used in a natural way to speak of that salvation. The imperatives do not really conflict with this, since they express the fact that the empirical, concrete human being is to be canceled out.
I would only modify this formulation, rather, to read that the imperatives do not conflict with this, since they express the fact that the concrete human being has not yet been canceled out. Although Bultmann is only setting his formula up in order to tear it down, I think that my reformulation goes a long way to answering the objection he raises: “Can we say that Paul's empirical fate does not concern him any longer? On the contrary, it served the function ‘that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh’” (25). On my modified version of the concept, this is no objection at all, because the place of the flesh is still maintained. This does not preclude, of course, the possibility that, in given historical circumstances, Paul would emphasize one or the other of these aspects of his thought, which is what I am claiming for Galatians and 1 Corinthians. [BACK]
9. There is nothing particularly new in this formulation per se. What is new in my interpretation is that the differences between Galatians and Corinthians, while contextualized by different discursive, “political” contexts, nevertheless form a consistent pattern and social theory on Paul's part. [BACK]
10. The difference between this interpretation and others apparently similar is that I do not think that Paul retreated from Galatians to Corinthians; rather, the former represents the ideal (spirit) while the latter represent accommodation with the real (flesh). Lest this sound implausible, once more I cite: But because of porneia, let every man have his wife and every woman have her husband. Much follows from that concession to the demands of the unredeemed flesh. Paul argues that when one does not make provision for the flesh, then one gives an opportunity to the flesh! Pace Campbell, then, Galatians 3:26–29 is not “over-realized eschatology” (1992, 108). [BACK]
11. It is further fascinating to note that in Sanders's chart of verses that deal with the various issues of Pauline theology, all of the verses that have to do with the fate of Christians who sin are from the Corinthian correspondence (Sanders 1983, 9), and again, “Here [in Corinthians] we see that, when he had to deal in detail with transgression within the Christian community, reward and punishment, and the possibility of postconversion atonement, he did so in a thoroughly Jewish way” (107), that is (on my view) “according to the flesh.” Also, “Paul's discussion of marriage (1 Cor. 7:1–16, 25–40), even though he qualifies part of it as only his opinion (7:25, 40), is close to halakhah” (119n.46). [BACK]
12. Dawson reads “the emergence and domestication of radical gnōsis in its countless forms” as the “common feature in these struggles that recur throughout the [Western] history of interpretation” (1992, 17). Karen King has emphasized to me (orally) that the term “gnostic” itself is highly problematized in current research and has suggested simply abandoning it in this context. I think, however, that as long as we define our terms and use the term to refer to specific spiritual, ideological tendencies, it still serves a useful purpose. [BACK]
13. By “ungrammaticality” here, I mean the stylistic infelicity of the formal difference between the different clauses of the Pauline formula, that stylistic infelicity which marks formally the site of a citation and thus points to the intertext. This provides the strongest argument for Meeks's view that Gal. 3:28 has a proto-gnostic background (to use J. Louis Martyn's terminology) and not an apocalyptic one. Martyn claims: “Nothing in the text or context of Gal 3.28 indicates that the thought is that of re-unification” (Martyn 1985, 423n.16), but precisely this argument that Paul is citing Gen. 1:27 and alluding to the “myth of the primal androgyne” does constitute an indication of re-unification. [BACK]
14. Thus, I completely disagree with Fiorenza, who claims that “the immediate context in Galatians speaks neither about baptism” (208). From the very beginning of the chapter until its end, that is all that is being spoken of. [BACK]
15. Below I will argue further that Pauline baptism functioned in this way, providing a momentary experience of breaking of categories in the experience of “the spirit.” I should clarify here, however, that I am not claiming that Paul's religion was heavily influenced by or transformed into a mystery. I am entirely convinced by the arguments of Davies (1965, 90–93) as to the implausibility of this thesis that was once quite popular among certain schools of Pauline scholars. Wedderburn 1987 has, I think, finally confirmed Davies's view of this matter definitively. I am very convinced, moreover, by Davies's comparisons of the baptism and Eucharist with the religious experience of the Passover as imagined in rabbinic Judaism. Rather, I am suggesting that in some ways Pauline baptism was structurally similar to the experience of initiation in the Mysteries without arguing that it was therefore connected with them—at the very least, because the Mysteries seems largely a second-century phenomenon. Note that while initiation into Judaism, either through the Exodus or conversion, did, of course, include the entry into a historical community, it did not ever imply any erasure of social roles and hierarchies within the community. To be sure, slaves who became Jews were no longer slaves (or rather, slaves who were freed automatically became Jews), and Greeks who became Jews, by definition, were no longer Greeks but Jews, but even these changes in status only emphasized the fact of difference even more. Women, moreover, certainly remained women. Paul's baptismal declaration of the end of difference cannot, I think, be traced simply to Semitic-speaking “Jewish” sources. [BACK]
16. I am, of course, aware that Macdonald's reconstructions are not universally accepted. [BACK]
17. Note how far this theme goes back in Greek culture as well. Thus in Aristophanes's Ecclesiazusae breakdown of distinctions between male and female leads to a situation in which “private property is abolished and all is held in common. Exclusive relationships between men and women are forbidden; sexual access is open for all. Dichotomies between male and female, public and private, old and young no longer control the relations of citizens and all (except, of course, slaves) become part of one unified family, eating, drinking, and sleeping together” (Saxonhouse 1992, 2–3). Note the connection between the breaching of the household, i.e., private property, and the breakdown in sexual boundaries between household and household as well. Given such traditions, is it any wonder that Paul would be concerned lest his breakdown of social distinctions between men and women also lead into such sexual anarchy? Note also how far Paul goes beyond such thinking in imagining an end to class distinctions of slave and free as well. I think he may well be unique in this in antiquity. Could not the communal life of the early Christian churches have seemed to some similar to the utopian vision of the play (cf. Saxonhouse, 12)? Indeed, is it any wonder that some Corinthian Christians might have drawn such conclusions? [BACK]
18. This interpretation obviates the necessity to understand that Philo punctuated Genesis 1:27 differently than we usually do, for he does, on my reading, construe male-and-female with the first incorporeal human as spiritual androgyny, which means (in good structuralist fashion) neither male nor female, and that is my whole point. Contrast Wegner (1991, 45 and 47). [BACK]
19. This hypothesis also explains the otherwise seemingly unmotivated reference in Philo's text to the Symposium of Plato and especially to Aristophanes's story of double-creatures (not necessarily androgynes by any means) at the origins of humanity. Philo is counterposing to this “abhorrent” image of physically double bodies an ideal one of spiritually dual humans. Philo's reversal was double-reversed by the Rabbis, who restored the myth as one of a physical androgyne, as I argue in Boyarin (1993, 42–43). This point is valid whether or not the community of Therapeutae ever really existed. In either case, the description is testimony to the translation of anthropology into social practice in Philo's writing. If they did exist, moreover, we have further strong evidence that Philo is representative of larger religious traditions and groups. [BACK]
20. Anne Wire has made the valid point that Philo describes the Therapeutrides as “aged virgins,” which, given his usage discussed below, might well mean formerly sexually active women. In a sense, then, these women had “had their cake and eaten it too.” The symbolic incompatibility, however, between sexuality and spirituality is nevertheless reinforced, and, as we shall see, in many groups the renunciation had been total and permanent. Furthermore, it is important to note that the women of the culture may not have experienced this “renunciation” as a sacrifice but as a liberation, and I am making an open judgment here which draws on my own contemporary values, which is valid to the extent that I am involved here in a critique and analysis of contemporary culture using the ancient materials as one tool of analysis. In any case, however, it is clear that an autonomy predicated on the forced choice of celibacy (in order to achieve autonomy) is a highly compromised autonomy, however it may have been experienced.
It is not to be ignored, of course, that men, too, in these systems are ideally expected to embrace celibacy. Male autonomy and creativity are not, however, predicated on such renunciation, except in one sphere. Thus non-celibate men have many avenues of self-expression and freedom together with sexuality and paternity, while women can only choose between an all-encompassing maternity or none at all. There are, to be sure, in both Judaism and Christianity some hints at ruptures in this rule. See Boyarin (1993, 167–96) and Harrison 1990. [BACK]
21. See, for example, the characteristically philonic usage, “When a man comes in contact with a woman, he marks [makes her marked; note the semiotic terminology] the virgin as a woman. But when souls become divinely inspired, from being women they become virgins” (QE II, 3). Obviously, Philo's usage is influenced by general Greek diction in which παρθένος is often contrasted to γυνή, as for instance in Xenophon's Anabasis 3.2.25: γ. και παρθένοι, cited in Liddel-Scott, 363. This Greek usage alone is significant, because it already encodes the idea that virgins are not women. In Hebrew, the word השא, which also means both “woman” and “wife,” can never be contrasted with הלותב “virgin,” and indeed הלותב השא (= a virgin woman) is a common expression. Finally, even in Greek, one can speak of a γυνή παρθένος (= virgin woman), as in Hesiod's Theogony 514 (L-S, 1339). The structural opposition between virgin / woman in Philo is thus significant and revealing, even if he is only exploiting and developing a sort of quirk of Greek—a fortiori if, as I hold, he is doing more than that.
The passage from Joseph and Aseneth, cited by Macdonald (1988, 289) also supports this reading, for Aseneth is told, “because today you are a pure virgin and your head is like that of a young man.” When she is no longer a virgin, only then she becomes a woman. [BACK]
22. Steven Knapp has made the excellent point that the social entailments of a statement like “There is no male and female” could not but “leak from one social space to another,” as it were, and Paul's formulations do not have only the consequences that he intended them to have. “On the other hand, there is some reason to think that marriage in what Boyarin calls ‘the Christian West’ has evolved into a more egalitarian institution than marriage in at least some other cultures; if so, how would one go about excluding the possibility that this tendency was encouraged by the Pauline ideal of spiritual androgyny?” (from response at Center for Hermeneutical Studies). The answer is that I am not trying to exclude such a possibility at all. I am speaking here of Paul's intent, not as a hermeneutical or historical control on his text, but as a construct in its own right and a way to understand what seem otherwise to be contradictory moments in his discourse. Of course, this “leaking” goes both ways, for ultimately if a certain vision of gender equality that we share owes its origins to perhaps unintended consequences of Paul's discourse, it is perhaps equally the case that the general male-female hierarchy of even celibate Christian communities owes its origin to his discourse on marriage! [BACK]
23. Note that in Colossians, a text which if not Pauline is certainly from circles close to him, the Haustafel follows hard by “there is no Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all” (3:10f.). Fiorenza acutely remarks that “Paul has taken great care to give a double command covering each case of active sexual interaction between husband and wife. However, it would be reaching too far to conclude from this that women and men shared an equality of role and a mutuality of relationship or equality of responsibility, freedom, and accountability in marriage. Paul stresses this interdependence only for sexual conjugal relationships and not for all marriage relationships” (224). [BACK]
24. One consequence of my interpretation is that we need not assume “outside” influences for explaining Corinthian Christianity. This point gains particular cogency if we accept the hypothesis that Galatians was written while Paul was in residence at Corinth, thus increasing enormously the plausibility of the assumption that his “doctrine” in Galatians reflected his early preaching in Corinth. For this view, see Watson (1986, 59). [BACK]
25. For a fairly thoroughgoing account of this “benevolent” gender hierarchy, see Boyarin 1993. Note that in that form of Judaism, for all its genuine discrimination against women, it is not enshrined as law that wives must be obedient to their husbands' rule. The verse which, in certain Christian circles, is usually cited as requiring wifely obedience, Gen. 3:16, “And your desire shall be toward him, but he will rule over you,” is interpreted in talmudic law that husbands must be particularly attentive to pay attention to their wives' unspoken need for sex. Philo the misogynist does read this verse as encoding female submissiveness, but even he explicitly remarks that this servitude is not to be imposed through violence (Wegner 1991, 59). None of this remark should be taken, however, as a covering over or apology for either the misogynist tone of some talmudic/midrashic discourse or the pervasive disenfranchisement of women in that culture and particularly their near-total confinement to the roles of wife and mother. If individual men were somewhat restrained in this culture from cruel physical domination of individual women, the culture as a whole certainly was cruel in its restriction of possibilities for female freedom. Once more, as in the case of celibacy, women may not have experienced this as cruel. From our perspective, nevertheless, it is. I am not prepared, however, to dismiss their experience as “false consciousness.” As Karen King has remarked, “The difference between men's imaginings of women and women's lives is such that we can affirm that women have found spiritual fulfillment and salvation in the practice of Judaism and Christianity despite what the texts would lead us to think” (response). [BACK]
26. Since this is the passage to which Fiorenza's student refers as where “he so firmly emphasized the equality of woman and man in marriage,” then his apparent contradiction can hardly be seen as “reverting to rabbinic prejudices.” Moreover, such provision for mutual consideration of husband and wife for each other's needs is hardly incompatible with gender hierarchy. As I have argued with regard to rabbinic Judaism and suggest here with regard to Paul as well, the attitude of husband to wife was expected to be one of benevolent dictatorship, which precluded any cruelty or lack of consideration.
What is remarkable about the Corinthians passage is rather its rhetoric, the fact that Paul addresses men and women equally, whereas the implicit subject of the Mishna is always a man who owes obligations to his wife and to whom she is also obligated. This is an important distinction; however, we should not make too much of it, for we do not know what rhetorical form a Pharisaic/rabbinic address to the populace, whether oral or epistolary, would have taken. Paul's rhetorical stance is usually every bit as androcentric as that of the Rabbis: “It is well for a person not to touch a woman”—not “It is well for persons not to have carnal knowledge of other persons.” Conzelmann's argument that he used this form “due to the formulation of their question” (1976, 115) represents wishful thinking. Much more convincing is Wire's interpretation: “The immorality he exposes is male. The solution he calls for is marriage, and here, for the first time in the letter, he refers to women as an explicit group. Paul is not telling the offending men to marry. This cannot happen without the cooperation of others and the others cannot be male” (78). This would certainly explain well the shift from androcentric to “egalitarian” rhetoric in 7:2–3. See also her remark that with regard to the virgin, “Paul does not repeat the same words to the woman but continues to the man, ‘But if you marry, you do not sin, and if the virgin marries, she does not sin’ (7:28). In this way Paul manages to incorporate the rhetoric of equality, although the woman is only talked about, not addressed” (87).
Karen King has contributed some very wise remarks, which I think worth quoting extensively:
My own work has shown that quite often a pattern can be discerned in men's writings about women: That is, the way that men view their own bodies and sexuality is structurally analogous to how they view women. In a sense, men often use women (or the category of woman) to think with. Control of one's own sexuality and the use and control of women seem to be two sides of the same problem.
For Philo, a man's relationship to himself is one of control pure and simple: the control of the body by the mind. This control constitutes good order and the best interests of the self. Analogously, women are to be under men's control. They are not rejected, but it is understood that the good of society and man's spiritual progress can only be achieved by the subordination of women, for their own good. Women out of control again and again constitute Philo's primary metaphor for spiritual and social disaster.…
For Paul, however, the relation to the self is less one of control and more one of reciprocity. He does not abandon the body, but expects to see it transformed. Sexuality, body, and spirit are more fully integrated in his conceptuality of self than with Philo. Yet as you note, there still exists a clear hierarchical relation between spirit and body. Celibacy models this relation most clearly. It is also the inscription on the body of his ideal of unity expressed in Galatians 3:28. The model for relations between men and women is similarly one of reciprocity, not equality, as is shown in I Corinthians 7 and 11.
I would only wish to emphasize, following Wire and the logic of King's own statement, that this reciprocity of male and female is hierarchical precisely in the way that spirit and flesh are for Paul, thus further confirming King's approach. King's principle, which I absolutely endorse, has been of major importance in development of my work. [BACK]
27. See Tomson (1990, 111) for demonstration that there was such a trend of thought in one form of Palestinian Judaism, and that the prohibition was derived from Gen. 1:27[!], just as Jesus had it. In addition, for Paul at any rate there is the general apocalyptic sense that everything should remain just as it is until the imminent Parousia. For this interpretation, see Wimbush 1987. [BACK]
28. This interpretation carries with it the consequence that certain Orthodox Fathers of the church best represent the “authentic” Pauline tradition—for instance, Clement of Alexandria, whose positive view of marriage is well known, but also such figures as Gregory Nazianzen, who writes “I will join you in wedlock. I will dress the bride. We do not dishonour marriage, because we give a higher honour to virginity” (quoted in Ford 1989, 25). I am also quite persuaded by Ford's description of the later John Chrysostom's ideology of sexuality that his mature view was not very different from that of the Rabbis (49 and passim), but once again it is important to note that with all that, Chrysostom himself was celibate, and as Ford notes, “he continued all his life to consider a life of virginity in dedication to God as an even higher calling” (73). Others of the Cappadocian Fathers, including Gregory of Nyssa, seem also to reflect such positions. See Harrison 1990. [BACK]
29. It should be noted, however, that since in the biblical text itself, Eve is positively evaluated as the “Mother of All Living,” Philo does not assign her or sexuality only a negative value. Moreover, the term “Helper,” for all of its connotations of subservience, is one that he can only read as having a positive valence, because help itself is clearly positively marked. On this, see Dillon, “it seems true to say that in Philo's thought there is present the recognition of a female life-principle assisting the supreme God in his work of creation and administration, but also somehow fulfilling the role of mother to all creation. If this concept reveals contradictions, that is perhaps because Philo himself was not quite sure what to do with it” (Dillon 1977, 164). Similarly, in his allegorical interpretation, for Philo, “woman” is the senses, and the import is that they are something that cannot be done without, something that has a positive role to play, however disturbing, in human life. This understanding on the allegorical level has its parallel on the literal level and even in practice, for in Philo, I think, literal women have about the same status as their signified, the senses, do in the allegorical meaning. [BACK]
30. See Wire (1990, 88) for an excellent discussion of the interpretative problems of this verse, but the point being made here is not affected. Any way you cut it, the ratio between celibacy and marriage here is the same. [BACK]
31. I find that Wire's interpretation of this section, 116ff., esp. 118–20, is the only weak part of her argument. I think, moreover, that the reconstruction offered here strengthens her overall reading considerably. [BACK]
32. The use of δόξα “glory” as a synonym for εἰκὼν “image” is beautifully explained by Alan Segal as deriving from “God's Glory” which represents his human image (Segal 1990, 41). See also 2 Corinthians 3:18 and discussion in Segal (1990, 60). [BACK]
33. Once again, let me make clear that even the explicit hierarchy reified by these verses does not necessarily authorize a tyranny of men over women, certainly not a vicious one.Κεφαλή may or may not mean “ruler,” but there can be no doubt that structurally there is here a hierarchical series of God ;mt Christ ;mt man ;mt woman, whatever the value placed on that hierarchy. I thus find myself here, as in other respects, in complete agreement with Engberg-Pedersen (1992, 681n.9). See also Fitzmyer (1989) for a strong argument that this term does mean “one having authority over” in Jewish koine. [BACK]
34. This interpretation was suggested to me by Karen King. Anne Wire has proposed an entirely different reconstruction of the relation of the baptismal formula to Genesis, suggesting that it does not represent a return at all but a new creation which negates the original one. She accordingly disagrees with the Meeks-Macdonald interpretation. My construction of Paul is not crucially dependent on either of these historical reconstructions being “correct,” although admittedly it is much neater following Macdonald. I think, moreover, that there is perhaps less reason than Wire thinks to strictly contrast the two versions. Colossians 3, for instance, “and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew” etc. suggests rather that the two go together, i.e., a creation that is new but also a return to the original. [BACK]
35. From her response at Center for Hermeneutical Studies. [BACK]
36. Contrast Betz (1979, 200). [BACK]
37. Compare Macdonald (1988, 286 and esp. 290), who sees a much more fundamental difference between Paul and the Corinthians than I do. Note that my interpretation of “in the Lord” is diametrically opposed to his (291). As in many cases in chapter 7 as well, as Wire points out (passim), Paul grants a point in principle and disagrees in practice. Note, moreover, that the cases are exactly parallel. [BACK]
38. For the latter, see Meeks (1973, 191 and 199), and Wire's characteristically shrewd remarks: “On the contrary, they [the Corinthians] may claim in their prayer and prophecy to mediate between God and humanity so that through the spirit the perishable does inherit imperishability and the primal dissociation is breached” (23). This breaching of the dissociation between spirit and flesh, raising of flesh to the status of spirit, would be that which transcends gender as well and explains much of the Corinthians' behavior, including paradoxically both their tendencies toward celibacy and libertinage as well as the Corinthian women's apparent adoption of male styles of headdress (Meeks 1973, 202; Macdonald 1988).
It is important to point out that, although less prominently, celibate men were also apparently sometimes imagined as androgynous. Verna Harrison has been doing very important work on this issue. It is tempting to speculate that Origen's self-castration fits into this paradigm as well; a speculation which can take place, incidentally, whether or not it actually happened. See on this point also the important and stimulating remarks in Brown (1988, 169). This pull to celibacy (and androgyny) for men is also a function of being freed from the constraints of the “world and the flesh,” correspondingly weaker insofar as those constraints were much less burdensome for men than for women to start with. Note that the priests of Agditis an androgynous form of the Magna Mater used to emasculate themselves (Meeks 1983, 169). Fiorenza's reference to this cult (213) in apparent support of her claim that Galatians 3:28 “does not express…‘gnosticizing’ devaluation of procreative capacities” seems somewhat inapposite in this light. [BACK]
39. De Baptismo XVII 4–5. [BACK]
40. The classic study of this phenomenon is Vööbus 1951, and see the excellent chapter in Peter Brown (1988, 83–103). [BACK]
41. See the important passage in The Acts of Andrew, cited by Aspegren (1990, 126), in which the apocryphal apostle begs Maximilla to remain steadfast in her decision to cease having sexual intercourse with her husband in the following terms: “I beg you, then, O wise man (ὁ φρόνιμος ἀνήρ), that your noble mind continue steadfast; I beg you, O invisible mind, that you may be preserved yourself.” Here it is absolutely and explicitly clear that through celibacy the female ceases to be a woman. The passage could practically appear in Philo. [BACK]
42. See, however, n.22 above. [BACK]
43. Interestingly, there is a unique historical case which suggests that this structure remained dormant even in Judaism as a marginal possibility. I refer to the one case of a post-biblical Jewish woman who functioned as an independent religious authority on the same level as men, the famous nineteenth-century “Maid of Ludmir,” and precisely the same mechanism operates, autonomy and religious leadership for a woman as an equal to men but only because she is celibate and therefore not a woman. Indeed, as soon as she engaged in marriage, at the age of forty, at the urging of male religious authorities—and a celibate marriage at that—her religious power disappeared, because she had revealed that she really was a woman, and not a man in a woman's body, nor an asexual androgyne. See Rapoport-Alpert 1988. [BACK]
44. For the antiquity in Greece of the theme of women becoming male, see Saxonhouse (1992, 57–58), who traces it back at least to Aeschylus. Incidentally, Simon Peter's declaration in this text that women do not deserve life should be contrasted to the explicit statement in the Talmud that women must pray just as men do, “because do not women require life?” (Kiddushin 34b). [BACK]
45. This also suggests that it is not so obvious that the only direction of such gender blending or bending was from female to male, even for a misogynist like Philo, a fortiori for less misogynist Jews and Christians, even though it is not to be denied, of course, that the usual image was of a female becoming male. [BACK]
46. This story, as well as that of Thekla, has, of course, been discussed by myriad critics and commentators. [BACK]
47. For martyrdom as victory, see Revelation 3:21. [BACK]
48. In this light, the fact that the Gospel of Thomas most likely originates in the most rigidly celibate of all early “Orthodox” churches, the Syrian church, takes on particular significance. See Meeks (1973, 194); Richardson 1973. [BACK]
49. According to Stevan Davies, these texts were produced by women very similar in social status to the “virgins” of Philo, older women who either were unmarried or had left their husbands (1980). Even Dennis Ronald Macdonald (1984), who disagrees with Davies, still agrees that the oral sources of these texts were produced among celibate women. [BACK]
50. Once more, I emphasize that neither they nor the Jewish women may have experienced their lives the way we predict owing to our own cultural prejudices. [BACK]
51. Incidentally, Fiorenza errs when she writes there that in rabbinic Judaism, “even the full proselyte could not achieve the status of the male Israelite.” This does not affect, however, her larger claim that the constitution of the Christian community through baptism was intended to be something entirely different from the solidarities of physical kinship that characterized Judaism. This fundamental change in the notion of kinship did not produce, however, only and always welcome sociocultural effects, as Jews and Native Americans (among others) know only too well. (See Chapters 1 above and 9 and 10 below for further discussion.) [BACK]
52. This should not be taken as a totalizing statement denying wives (either in Christianity or in rabbinic Judaism) all freedom and subjectivity; indeed, it is not inconsistent with the notion that married women could have positions of at least partial leadership in the Pauline churches. Cf. Fiorenza (1983, 232–33). [BACK]
53. In this sense, then, Paul essentially agrees with the Corinthians as to the way to gender equality (cf. Wire 1990, 65 and especially 90), but Paul sees what he takes to be negative social and moral effects of the wrong people attempting to achieve such status. We need not necessarily accept as “historically” accurate Paul's evaluation of the situation. Anne Wire has argued that Paul's position involved a great deal of oppression of the Corinthian women, “Apparently Paul sets out to persuade women to give up what they have gained through sexual abstinence in order that the community and Christ himself may be saved from immorality” (79). I think that Wire's rereading of 1 Corinthians 6 and 7 is of great significance for our evaluation of Paul here, although for reasons I shall immediately lay out, not for our interpretation. By a very careful and close reading Wire has arrived at the following conclusions vis-à-vis this section of his text: Paul is primarily concerned with male immorality, and his injunctions to marry fall on women to provide legitimate sexual outlets for men, so that they will not fall into porneia. This includes those Corinthian women who have already achieved a high degree of spiritual fulfillment, who are now commanded to renounce this achievement for the sake of providing sexual service to men not called to the celibate life. Paul's discourse is, on this reading, considerably more compromised ethically than I have allowed above, in that its hierarchical imbalance falls on all women, including those successfully called to the celibate life. The consequence of Wire's brilliant reconstruction is “Paul's agreement with the Corinthians concerning gender equality on principle is strictly a rhetorical ploy if he is, as you say, ruled by the ‘negative social and moral effects of the wrong people attempting to achieve such status’” (from Wire's response at Center for Hermeneutical Studies).
It is here, however, that I wish to introduce a nuance, which, if it be apologetic, at least is not compromised by being apology for my own religious tradition, although there may be another factor working here: As a male Jew, all too aware of the gap between my own aspirations toward feminism and the shortcomings of my practice, I may be drawn to forgiving perceived—or constructed—analogous failures on the part of a forefather of sorts. Nevertheless, even given all the details of Wire's construction of the Corinthian women prophets and Paul's repressive reaction to them, I think we do not need to conclude that his agreement with them in principle is “strictly a rhetorical ploy,” but rather, I think a genuine and failed vision. Whether the baptismal formula in Galatians 3:28 is, as I suppose, a reflection of the primal androgyne interpretation of Genesis 1:28 or a radical rewriting of Genesis in the new creation of Christ, as Wire proposes, I think that it genuinely holds out the vision of social equality for all human beings. Paul, however, I argue, simply cannot think himself to an adequate social arrangement with equality for the sexes other than chastity, which for one reason or another he considers to be an unworkable solution at the present time. And yes, I agree, it may very well be that it is unworkable because of male sexual need in his view, and women may be the servants, for him, of that need; nevertheless, I think that he as well as the Corinthians, as opposed to rabbinic Judaism, envisions an end to gender hierarchy. In any case, if on the one hand, Wire points to the devastating history of male oppression of women in the name of Paul, one can also cite at least a nascent discourse and real history of chastity as female autonomy also carried out in his name, in what is, after all, the Acts of Paul and Thekla for notable example. Similarly, with regard to the parallel issue of slavery. Philemon has been used (maybe misused) as a text in the service of slavery. It is just as true, however, that Galatians 3:28 has been mobilized in anti-slavery discourses. The failure of consistency here involves not Paul's aspirations but his achievements. Others who come after may indeed be able to put into practice that which in Paul is fraught with contradiction. I think that the ultimate elimination of slavery in all of the Christian world is an eloquent case in point, although it took nearly two thousand years for Paul's vision to be realized here.
Richard Hays, on the other hand, suggests to me that in this verse, Paul is already into his discourse on the already married, and all he is saying is that those who are married should not become celibate. This interpretation would only strengthen my overall case. I am not entirely convinced, however, that this is the only way to read the verse, since then v. 3 would seem redundant. My take on the verse is rather that Paul is echoing—approvingly, and this is crucial—that which the Corinthians had written, namely, that celibacy is ideal. Paul agrees with them strongly, for he later repeats the theme of the free virgin, but qualifies their “extremism.” On this whole section, Wimbush 1987 can also be profitably consulted. [BACK]