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The Bone Gatherers: The Lost Worlds of Early Christian Women Paperback – July 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Denzey's prose paints vivid pictures of the sites she visits . . . her densely layered inquiry is insightful and haunting."—Publishers Weekly
"Unique in its restricted time/place focus, the study probes in-depth with a twenty-first-century feminist eye."—Library Journal
"A masterful study written in a lively narrative style, The Bone Gatherers is pitched perfectly to both the interested general reader and to scholars. Denzey's expert placing of the funerary images of early Christian and pagan women into their social and cultural milieus, and her rich, well-researched iconographical reading of ancient imagery helps us to see the changing roles of women—both Christian and pagan—during the early centuries of Christian Rome."—Ann Steinsapir, museum educator, J. Paul Getty Museum, and author of Rural Sanctuaries in Roman Syria: The Creation of a Sacred Landscape
"Nicola Denzey’s impeccable scholarship and intimate and vivid style of writing makes tangible and credible the power of the holy that was mediated by women—women saints and women patrons. The Bone Gatherers allows the reader to transcend both historical and scholarly distance to encounter the forgotten women who also shaped Christianity."—Karen Jo Torjesen, author of When Women Were Priests: Women's Leadership in the Early Church and the Scandal of their Subordination in the Rise of Christianity
"A brilliantly argued book that weaves archeology, art history, and sociology; it's refreshing that, unlike many historians, Denzey is a gifted writer and storyteller . . . Whether or not you're religious, it's a great feminist read."—M. L. Madison, Feminist Review blog
"It should be consulted by all researchers in the religions of late antiquity and would make an excellent book for undergraduate courses on the literature and art of ancient Christianity." —Review of Biblical Literature
Top Customer Reviews
Denzey has read broadly and is remarkably able to sketch vivid scenes of historical and artistic pasts. She also adds some neat comparative details, for example, when she notes a population density in Rome that outstrips that of Calcutta. This book hasn't figured out if it is an academic work or a work of popular history and religion. I think that other readers will encounter this same sense of uncertainty. Many of the Latin passages are plagued with errors (blunders as simple as mistaken gender agreement between adjective and noun). An editor's keen eye could have saved this young scholar more than half a dozen such slips.
In fairness to the author, the subtitle of this book offers a reading of "The Lost Worlds of Early Christian Women". This use of "Worlds" may suggest an intent to demonstrate an irreducibly diverse feminine experience in early Christian Rome. For sure, not all of these women gathered bones.