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Word Count: 571
When Women Were Priests tells of womens roles in leading the early church and of the scandal that lead to the relegation of their roles in the Catholic Church today Karen Jo Torjessen raises many logical arguments to prove her theory that it is was only natural for women to assume the role of the celebrant At the time of the early church women handled all household affairs both culturally and economically and since the mass was held in the home it was natural for the woman of the house to take charge of it as well Torjessen also brings to light many historical documents passages from the bible and works of art that help prove her case These range from epitaphs on graves and letters in the Bible to paintings depicting women leading mass and breaking bread She explains that the Romans inherited their views on gender roles from the ancient Greek society and Christianity in turn adopted the same values from its cultural home Torjessen 179 in Rome As Christianity spread westward its Greco-Roman views on sexuality helped to shape the church as we know it today Torjessen has gathered the information for her book from the Bible ancient records and letters paintings mosaics and her studies of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations She uses all of these sources to meld together an argument that when viewed as a whole sets her theory apart as being the only logical explanation for womens roles today both in the church and in society Torjessen believes that the counter cultural movement started by Jesus allowed women and men to take on all rolls within the church interchangeably She speaks of an ornate Mosaic under a high arch in a Roman basilica dedicated to two female saints Prudentia and Praxedis Depicted on this mosaic are the two saints the Virgin Mary and one other woman set apart from the rest with a rectangular halo indicating that
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