Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Religious Studies

Reader 1

Andrew Jacobs

Reader 2

Erin Runions

Reader 3

Oona Eisenstadt

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Catherine Alison Ballard


This paper is my own unique feminist analysis of certain apocryphal texts. Though the texts I use have common themes, they are divided into what I consider the three most societally important aspects of an ancient woman’s identity: virgin, mother, and whore. The Acts of Thecla and The Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena deal with virginity. II Maccabees, The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas, and select chapters of Augustine’s Confessions represent motherhood. Finally, the hagiographies Life of Pelagia and Life of Mary navigate through the mire of sexualities that deviate from norms.