The Care of the Self in Early Christian Texts

  • Deborah Niederer Saxon

Part of the The Bible and Cultural Studies book series (TBACS)

About this book


This book presents the first three Christian centuries through the lens of what Foucault called “the care of the self.” This lens reveals a rich variation among early Christ movements by illuminating their practices instead of focusing on what we anachronistically assume to have been their beliefs. A deep analysis of the discourse of martyrdom demonstrates how writers like Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp represented as self-care. Deborah Niederer Saxon brings to light an entire spectrum of alternative views represented in newly-discovered texts from Nag Hammadi and elsewhere. This insightful analysis has implications for feminist scholarship and exposes the false binary of thinking in terms of “orthodoxy” versus “heresy”/”Gnosticism.”


Early Christ gnosticism Clement Ignatius Polycarp Judas

Authors and affiliations

  • Deborah Niederer Saxon
    • 1
  1. 1.Butler UniversityIndianapolisUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-64749-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-64750-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site