Introduction A Lady God?; Chapter 1 Where did God the Mother Go?; The Jewish Spirit; The Angel Sophia; A Hebrew Goddess; The Recovery of God's Wife; Chapter 2 Why was the Spirit Neutered?; Introducing Jesus' True Mother; Carried up Mount Tabor; In the Name of the Mother Spirit; Born from the Womb of Water; Milking the Breasts of God; The Mother's Erasure; God's Gender Crisis; Chapter 3 Did Jesus Think Sex is a Sin?; A Double Message; Sex Limits; Sex according to Jesus; A Women's Advocate; Chapter 4 Did Paul Hate Women?; The burgeoning of chastity; To veil or not to veil; Vanishing women. Chapter 5 Is Marriage a Sin?; Rereading Genesis; The Devil made me do it; In defiance of the Creator; It's the end of the world; Chapter 6 Is Marriage Salvation?; Sacred Sex; The Law is a joke; Soul Collectors; Chapter 7 Once a Woman, Always a Woman?; The Church is a household; Brides of Christ; The Devil's Gateway; Chapter 8 How do we Solve a Problem Like Maria?; Mary caught in the crossfire; The Male Mary; The Sexual Mary; The Apostolic Mary; Chapter 9 Because the Bible Tells Us So?; Further Reading; Notes.
April D. DeConick is the Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University (Houston, Texas). She specializes in early Christian history and theology, noncanonical Gospels, and gnostic and mystical traditions. Her books include Seek to See Him: Ascent and Vision Mysticism in the Gospel of Thomas (1996); Voices of the Mystics: Early Christian Discourse in the Gospels of John and Thomas and Other Ancient Christian Literature (Sheffield Academic, 2001); Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and Its Growth (T. & T. Clark, 2005); and The Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation, with Commentary and New English Translation of the Complete Gospel (T. & T. Clark, 2006) and The Thirteenth Apostle: what the Gospel of Judas really says (Continuum, 2007). She has also edited the collection of papers, Paradise Now: Essays on Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism (SBL, 2006).
"The near-programmatic downgrading and degrading of women is one of the most shameful aspects of traditional Christianity. In this powerful book, DeConick rejects conventional theological and hermeneutical attempts to soften the absence of the divine and human female by challenging head-on the vilification of women and the othering of their bodies in early Christianity. This bold discussion makes for uncomfortable but essential reading - and rightly so." Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Senior Lecturer in Hebrew Bible, University of Exeter, UK
"April DeConick has collected materials from a wide range of early Christian evidence. The result is a brave book, in a straight-forward style accessible to a non-specialist audience, on an uncomfortable subject." Jorunn J. Buckley, Associate Professor of Religion, Bowdoin College, USA
"April DeConick, a world class scholar, has written a must-read book for those interested in gender issues in relationship to God. By integrating her vast knowledge of extracanonical and canonical texts, she expansively analyzes the effect of misogyny on conceptions of the female body and the profound difference such marginalization has made, even today for women's ecclesiastical leadership and ordination." Ann Graham Brock, Associate Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Iliff School of Theology, USA
"An intriguing, important, and appropriately dangerous book. DeConick brings her study of the difficult canonical and apocryphal texts into conversation with contemporary concerns in a satisfying and accessible way. Her style is both technical and easy-going. This is a book for the general public as well as the academic classroom. I learned a great deal from it and am left with many questions to chew on happily and to discuss. The reader is aided in the search for 'Lady God, ' and in the struggle to create societies that abhor and reject violence to the female body." Jane Schaberg, Professor of Biblical Studies and Gender/Women's Studies, University of Detroit Mercy, USA
"Though one may argue with her historical reconstructions at many points, and sometimes with her method, the case is otherwise well made."- William Loader, "Murdoch University, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly" "[Deconick] is an expert in her field, and this book should serve as a good, basic introduction for any course on ancient religion and gender. It will likely raise more questions than it answers for most readers, but shouldn't a good book do that? I would recommend this book for anyone interested in learning a little bit more about the history of women in Christianity." - Jeffrey Needle, "Association for Mormon Letters"
Though one may argue with her historical reconstructions at many points, and sometimes with her method, the case is otherwise well made."- William Loader, Murdoch University, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly "[Deconick] is an expert in her field, and this book should serve as a good, basic introduction for any course on ancient religion and gender. It will likely raise more questions than it answers for most readers, but shouldn't a good book do that? I would recommend this book for anyone interested in learning a little bit more about the history of women in Christianity.--Jeffrey Needle, Association for Mormon Letters