Family Values? Women, Asceticism, and Roman Imperial Society

Prof. Elizabeth A Clark

The 1993-1994 Weltin Lecture in Early Christianity

Professor Elizabeth A Clark is the John Carlisle Kilgo Professor of Religion at Duke University. She has written extensively on the adoption of Christian practices of asceticism and monasticism by the Roman nobility during the fourth and fifth centuries. Christian ideals clashed with the traditional Roman family values, which sought to maintain and enhance both position and possessions over many generations. The widowed matrons of these families, in particular, played important roles as patrons and participants in the development of monasteries and scholarship. These developments led to conflicts within both the Christian Church and Roman Imperial Society.

Professor Clark has serves as president of the North American Patristics Society, the American Society of Church History and the American Academy of Religion. She is founding editor of the Journal of Early Christian Studies. Her most recent book, The Origenist Controversy: The Cultural Construction of an Early Christian Debate, was published by Princeton University Press.