Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 7, 2018

Christian Philosophy

Theresa Angert-Quilter
Pages 5-8

St. Thecla, Apostle and Martyr

This presentation focuses on the story of the most famous woman of early Christianity, Thecla of Iconium. Reading from the more original Tischendorf text brings to the fore a number of ethical matters that were important in the development of early Christianity. In this presentation, I will focus on matters of healing and grief, matters of filial obligation, freedom and matters of victim-offender relationships. In particular, the matter of blaming the victim is addressed in the ancient document, the Acts of Thecla. The kindness of companionship in a time of grief leads to healing and the Gospel is described as freedom and joyful service. Thecla stands as an example of faith, courage and freedom. She is a model of women’s leadership in Christianity. She models women administering the sacraments, teaching, traveling as a missionary and healing. She is known as the first martyr and as an apostle equal to St. Paul of Tarsus. Her role in the Early Church helped legitimate women in leadership positions. In today’s world the memory of her example gives purpose and meaning to ordained women of the Christian churches.