Date of Award

Summer 8-2015

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

Committee Chair

Dr. Courtney Luckhardt

Committee Chair Department

History

Committee Member 2

Dr. Westley Follett

Committee Member 2 Department

History

Committee Member 3

Dr. Kenneth Swope

Committee Member 3 Department

History

Abstract

Despite centuries of Christian theologians and lay Christians alike assigning and/or accepting an entrenched misogyny in the writings of Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine, close examination of their work on its own terms and in its own time reveals that, in fact, they did not hold women in lesser esteem than men. Rather, time and again, in the writings of these Latin Doctors of the Church, women were promoted as exemplars of holiness and sanctity often in excess of their male counterparts and commonly as didactic tools used to lead their fellow Christians down a more righteous path. The following thesis serves as both examination and exculpation of these deeply influential figures in the history of Christianity, in an attempt to understand better the place of women in Christian society, teaching, and theology.