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The makings of an Average Joe : Joseph of Nazareth, gender and the everyday in early Christian discourse Glessner, Justin M. 2014

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THE  MAKING(S) OF AN AVERAGE JOE:JOSEPH OF NAZARETH, GENDER AND THE EVERYDAY IN EARLY CHRISTIAN DISCOURSEbyJustin M. GlessnerA THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYin!e Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies(Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies)UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA(Vancouver)August 2014© Justin M. Glessner, 2014ABSTRACT!is study explores the quotidian making(s) of men in three, early blocks of (narrative) discourse about Joseph of Nazareth—from the Gospel of Luke, the Gospel of Matthew, and the Protevangelium of James (PJ).  Although Matthew’s ‘just man’ (δίκαιος, Mt. 1.19), Joseph was also, after all, ‘just a man’—the ‘average Joe’—especially when compared with other ‘superior’, if also perhaps more volatile, exemplars of early Christian masculine comportment, such as, say, the hero martyr, the ‘manly eunuch’, or the male woman.  Without denying the importance of analysis and critique of gender/ing in such highly visible, spectacular performances, I offer here an aligned study revealing deep instabilities inherent even (or especially) in seemingly ordinary or ‘everyday’ citations of ‘normative’ masculine subjectivities in ancient religious narratives. I read not merely for gender in ‘the everyday’ but for the gendering of the everyday; in other words, how was ‘everydayness’ shaped into gendered experience and how was this related to early Christian group identity formation? More specifically, I explore here the proposal that the (re)fashioning of the earliest stories and characterizations of Joseph represent various literary attempts at crafting what the ‘everyday man’ —the ‘average Joe’—should be: paradigmatic, though also unstable and at times competing, models of/for quotidian, normative, ‘everyday’ masculine subjectivity.iiPREFACEA version of material from chapters 2, 3 and 4 has been published. Justin Glessner, “!e Making(s) of an Average Joe: Joseph of Nazareth vs Empire, in !ree Rounds,” in Ovidiu Creanga and Peter-Ben Smit, eds., Biblical Masculinities Foregrounded (Hebrew Bible Monographs 62; Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014), 189-227.A version of material from chapter 2 was presented at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual International Meeting 2012 in Amsterdam and is in press. Justin Glessner, “On ‘Being a Just Man’ (Matt 1.19): Joseph of Nazareth, Gender, and Empire in the Infancy Narrative of Matthew,” in Irmtraud Fischer, ed., Papers of the Feminist Exegesis Section of the 2012 International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, Forthcoming).iiiTABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT ........................................................................................................... iiPREFACE ............................................................................................................. iiiTABLE OF CONTENTS ......................................................................................... ivACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .......................................................................................    viDEDICATION ......................................................................................................  vii1     INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................    1 1.1     !ematic Accents...................................................................................       2     1.1.1     Joseph of Nazareth................................................................      2     1.1.2     ...the Everyday....................................................................... 5     1.1.3     Gender and... .......................................................................   9      1.1.4     Early Christian Discourse ..................................................  26     1.1.5     !e Making(s) ....................................................................     28 1.2     Methodology........................................................................................      342     JOSEPH OF NAZARETH IN THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW ...............................      41 2.1     Matthew’s Average Joe and Other ‘Fathers’............................................41  2.2     Matthew’s Average Joe and Jesus:   (Auto-)Generative and Adoptive Fathers (Matt 1.1-17) .......................    47  2.3   Matthew’s Average Joe, Mary, and ‘!e Other Man’: Honor Contests,   Self-Control, Presiding over Household,   and Torah-Knowledge (Matt 1.18-20a)................................................     56  2.4     Matthew’s Average Joe and the GodFather:   Dreams, Plights, Fear and Godhandling (Matt 1.20b-24).....................         67 2.5     Matthew’s Average Joe and Empire:  A Trickster’s Tale of Cleverness,   (Dis)Placement and Flight (Matt 2.1-23).............................................     88 2.6     Matthew’s Audience and the Making(s) of an Average Joe....................        93iv3     JOSEPH OF NAZARETH IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE .......................................        99 3.1     Luke’s ‘Everyday’:  !e Events, Everything, Gender and Joseph.........................................     99  3.2     Luke’s Average Joe: A Curiously ‘Absent Father’ .................................     105  3.3     Luke’s Average Joe and the Domus:   Roman ‘Family Values’ - Marriage, Children, Inheritance................... 120  3.4     Luke’s Average Joe and the Cultus.......................................................      128 3.5     Luke’s Average Joe and the Forum:   Silence/Paideia, Presiding over Household,   Paying Taxes, and Biding One’s Time.................................................     132 3.6     Luke’s Audience and the Making(s) of an Average Joe........................         1414    JOSEPH OF NAZARETH IN THE PROTEVANGELIUM OF JAMES ....................       147 4.1     !e Protevangelium of James:   ‘Something about Mary’ and Joseph...................................................   147  4.2     PJ’s Rodhandling Priests, their Dove,   and the Making(s) of an Average Joe (PJ 8-9).....................................    152  4.3     PJ’s Average Joe: the ‘Same-old’ Cuckold? (PJ 13-14).........................       163  4.4     PJ’s Average Joe: Manly Sotah or Virile Virgin? (PJ 15-16)..................   181 4.5     PJ’s Audience and the Making(s) of an Average Joe.............................   1985     CONCLUSION(S):  THE MAKING(S) OF AN AVERAGE JOE  IN EARLY CHRISTIAN DISCOURSE  .........................................................   208BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................      218 vACKNOWLEDGEMENTS !roughout the duration of this project, I have been continually reminded of the degree to which my work is the product of more than my efforts alone: indeed, there are many colleagues, friends, and family members whose ‘stories have been repeated in me’. Much of what is of value in this dissertation I owe to them. First, the members of my committee deserve special mention. Dietmar Neufeld, who has been my advisor from my first day at UBC, has been an exceptionally kind, generous, and encouraging Doctorvater. His thorough knowledge of early Christian traditions and the vast array of scholarly literature in this field have been invaluable for my project.  I am deeply indebted to Daphna Arbel for her thoughtful direction and encouragement, and for contributing so much to my academic life. Each of our conversations propelled me to refine my thinking enormously, and insights gained from those conversations reverberate throughout the dissertation. On many occasions, Rob Cousland has held up a mirror for me, gracious and clear and true, as I have navigated the tricky waters that is the study of the bible and its reception. His mirror, the living image of his literary presence/response/critique, is something I carry with me, a light and light-giving burden that I gladly bear. I am also grateful for two other scholars who provided significant assistance with this dissertation: Reidar Aasgaard, for initiating critical discussion of Joseph of Nazareth’s characterizations in early Christian narratives and for providing comments on earlier versions of my project presented at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual International Meeting 2012 in Amsterdam, and Peter-Ben Smit, for offering valuable guidance in refining the content of earlier versions of material from chapters 2, 3 and 4.  My closest colleagues and friends at UBC have given me advice and support for this project on occasions too numerous to recall. I would especially like to single out Scott Wall, Jamie Carrick, Clement Tong, Peter Barber, and Jayne Knight. On a more personal level, I wish to thank my family for providing emotional, financial, and intellectual support during the seven years it took to complete my doctorate. Most importantly, I wish to thank my incredible wife, Dana, for encouraging me to begin my doctorate and for her ‘everyday’ and incomparable patience, tenderness, inspiration, farsightedness, and generosity that helped me complete it. I must acknowledge also the unique contributions made by my three beautiful children, Clayton, Josephine, and Silas, who have unwittingly lent vital complications to the reality of my own, lived ‘everyday’.  Finally, I would not be who I am, personally or professionally, without the support and care of my family: Ron and Gwen, Dan and Beth, Troy and Lynn, Dave and Heather, Kris and Aubrey. !ank you.viDEDICATIONµήτι ἐν ἐµοὶ ἐνεκεφαλαιώθη ἱστορίαTo all those whose stories have been repeated in mevii1     INTRODUCTIONIt is the everyday that carries the greatest weight ~ Henri Lefebvre !is study explores the quotidian making(s) of men in three, early blocks of (narrative) discourse about Joseph of Nazareth—from the Gospel of Luke, the Gospel of Matthew, and the Protevangelium of James (PJ).1  Although Matthew’s ‘just man’ (δίκαιος, Mt. 1.19), Joseph was also, after all, ‘just a man’—the ‘average Joe’—especially when compared with other ‘superior’, if also perhaps more volatile, exemplars of early Christian masculine comportment, such as, say, the hero martyr,2 the ‘manly eunuch’,3 or the male woman.4  Without denying the importance of analysis and critique of gender/ing in such highly visible, spectacular performances, I offer here an aligned study revealing deep instabilities inherent even (or especially) in seemingly ordinary or ‘everyday’ citations of ‘normative’ masculine subjectivities in ancient religious narratives.5 I read not merely for gender in ‘the everyday’ but for the gendering of the everyday; in other words, how was ‘everydayness’ shaped into gendered experience and how was this related to early Christian group identity formation?6 More specifically, I explore here the hypothesis that the (re)fashioning of the earliest stories and 11 Reidar Aasgaard initiated critical discussion of Joseph of Nazareth’s characterizations in early Christian narratives, though without specific recourse to the theories/tools of a gender-critical analytic; see Reidar Aasgaard, “Father and Child Reunion: !e Story of Joseph,” paper presented at the Christian Apocrypha Section, SBL Annual Meeting, New Orleans (2009); cf. !e Childhood of Jesus: Decoding the Apocryphal Infancy Gospel of !omas (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books).2 See, e.g., Judith Perkins, !e Suffering Self: Pain and Narrative Representation in the Early Christian Era (London; New York: Routledge, 1995); L. Stephanie Cobb, Dying to be Men: Gender and Language in Early Christian Martyr Texts (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008).3 See, e.g., Matthew Kuefler, !e Manly Eunuch: Masculinity, Gender Ambiguity, and Christian Ideology in Late Antiquity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).4 See, e.g., Kerstin Bjerre-Aspegren and René Kieffer, eds., !e Male Woman: A Feminine Ideal in the Early Church (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1990); Elizabeth A. Castelli, “‘I Will Make Mary Male’: Pieties of the Body and Gender Transformation of Christian Women in Late Antiquity,” in J. Epstein and K. Straub, eds., Body Guards: !e Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity (New York: Routledge, 1991), 29-49 (esp. 29-33); Kari Vogt, “‘Becoming Male’: A Gnostic and Early Christian Metaphor,” in Kari E. Børresen, ed., !e Image of God: Gender Models in Judaeo-Christian Tradition (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995); Gillian Cloke, !is Female Man of God: Women and Spiritual Power in the Patristic Age, AD 350-450 (London: Routledge, 1995).5 See Raewyn Connell, Masculinities (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005): 3: “Everyday life is an arena of gender politics, not an escape from it. Gender terms are contested because the right to account for gender is claimed by conflicting discourses and systems of knowledge. We can see this in everyday situations as well as in high theory.”6 Cf. Miriam Peskowitz, Spinning Fantasies: Rabbis, Gender, and History (Berkeley: University of  California Press, 1997), 23.characterizations of Joseph of Nazareth represent various literary attempts at crafting what the ‘everyday man’—the ‘average Joe’—should be: paradigmatic, though also unstable and at times competing, models of/for quotidian, normative, ‘everyday’ masculine subjectivity. Each component of the title—!e Making(s) of an Average Joe: Joseph of Nazareth, Gender, and the Everyday in Early Christian Discourse—encapsulates a key thematic accent that echoes throughout my investigation, as I now explain.1.1     !ematic Accents1.1.1     Joseph of Nazareth To begin with, just as scholars of gender and religion have investigated the significance of the figure of Mary the mother of Jesus,7 no less of Jesus himself,8 so this study analyzes early characterizations of the third member of the Holy Family, the figure of Joseph of Nazareth.  Joseph is mentioned only a handful of times in the New Testament,9 and not at all in the earliest Christian 27 A number of scholars have investigated the (gendered) significance of the figure of Mary, the mother of Jesus. See Rosemary Radford Ruether, Mary: !e Feminine Face of the Church (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1977); Janice Capel Anderson, “Mary’s Difference: Gender and Patriarchy in the Birth narratives,” !e Journal of Religion 67 (1987): 183-202; Els Maeckelberghe, Desperately Seeking Mary: A Feminist Interpretation of a Traditional Religious Symbol (Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1991); Stephen Benko, !e Virgin Goddess: Studies in the Pagan and Christian Roots of Mariology (Leiden: Brill, 1993); Jaroslav Pelikan, Mary !rough the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996); Sarah Jane Boss, Empress and Handmaid: Nature and Gender in the Cult of the Virgin Mary (Continuum International Publishing Group. 2000); Mary F. Foskett, A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of Virginity (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002); and Deirdre Joy Good, Mariam, the Magdalen, and the Mother (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005).8 See David A. J. Clines, “Ecce Vir, or, Gendering the Son of Man,” in J. Cheryl Exum and Stephen D. Moore, eds., Biblical Studies/Cultural Studies: !e !ird Sheffield Colloqium, JSOTSup 266, Gender, Culture, !eory 7 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998); Deirdre Joy Good, Jesus the Meek King (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1998); Jerome Neyrey, “Jesus, Gender, and the Gospel of Matthew,” Tat-siong Benny Liew “Re-Mark-able Masculinities: Jesus, the Son of Man, and the (Sad) Sum of Manhood?,” and Maud Gleason, “By Whose Gender Standards (if Anybody's) was Jesus a Real Man?,” all in Stephen D. Moore and Janice Capel Anderson, eds., New Testament Masculinities (Atlanta: SBL, 2003), 43-66, 93-136, 325-327, respectively; Halvor Moxnes, Putting Jesus in his Place: A Radical Vision of Household and Kingdom (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003); Dale B. Martin, Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2006);  Eric !urman, “Novel Men: Masculinity and Empire in Mark’s Gospel and Xenophon’s An Ephesian Tale,” in Todd Penner and Caroline Vander Stichele, eds., Mapping Gender in Ancient Religious Discourse (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 185-230; Peter-Ben Smit, “Jesus and the Ladies: Constructing and Deconstructing Johannine Macho-Christology,” !e Bible and Critical !eory 2, no. 3 (2006): 31.1–31.15; and Colleen M. Conway, Behold the Man: Jesus and Greco-Roman Masculinity (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).9 Matthew 1.16, 18-20; 1.24; 2.13; 2.19; 13.55 (implied); Luke 1.27; 2.4; 2.16; 2.22; 2.39; 3.23; 4.22; John 1.45; 6.42.writings (Paul’s letters, the Gospels of Mark and Q), and this dearth of early reflection on Joseph is one of the things which made (and perhaps makes) him so productively malleable as a symbol. While Joseph was all but ignored in preaching, liturgical celebrations, martyrologies, and theological writings for the first millennium of Christian history,10 early scattered representations of Joseph do exist—and what is scattered can be gathered.  Moreover, in all of his early representations, Joseph appears as a liminal character, in play and contested as he was, not least because of his complicated parental (father of ‘the Son’) and spousal (husband of ‘the Virgin’) relationships. !e curious nature of a male character who is almost and not quite a father and/or husband is one of the things which makes Joseph so compelling as a focal point of inquiry. Yet, Joseph is certainly not the appropriator in the history of his representation; he is appropriated, a constructed figure, and later, and eventually, declared a saint. As Pierre Delooz aptly notes: “all saints are more or less constructed in that, being necessarily saints for other people, they are remodeled in the collective representation which is made of them.”11 While we have a number of early “lives” of Joseph molded/modeled by literary representation, the “social logic” and “political unconscious” of such representations,12 I posit, has less to do with the ‘real Joseph’, than with an elaboration of early Christian (male) writers’ reflections on troubling intellectual and theological problems, as well as their desires to buttress particular views of marriage, fatherhood, and continence (among other things): Joseph, too, is “good to think with.”13 My interest, then, is not in any ‘historical Joseph’ that might (or might not) have given rise 310 See, e.g., Joseph T. Lienhard, St. Joseph in Early Christianity - Devotion and !eology. A Study and an Anthology of Patristic Texts (Philadelphia: St. Joseph’s University Press, 1999), 5-6.11 Pierre Delooz, “Towards a Sociological Study of Canonized Sainthood in the Catholic Church,” in Stephen Wilson, ed., Saints and their Cults: Studies in Religious Sociology, Folklore, and History (trans Jane Hodgkin; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 189-216 (195), emphasis original.12 I find Gabrielle Spielgel’s notion of “the social logic of the text”—a logic that attends to both the text’s “site of articulation and its discursive character as articulated ‘logos’”—to be a stimulating mental tool for the study of early Joseph texts, and I also find provocative her encouragement to ferret out the “political unconscious” of the text; see her much-cited essay, “History, Historicism, and the Social Logic of the Text in the Middle Ages,” Speculum 65 (1990): 59–86, now excerpted in her !e Past as Text: !e !eory and Practice of Medieval Historiography (Baltimore: John Hopkins University, 1997), 3–28, and discussed at length and appropriated (as “social-theological logic”) by Elizabeth Clark, History, !eory, Text: Historians and the Linguistic Turn (Cambridge; London: Harvard University Press, 2004),162-165 and 178-181.13 Peter Brown, !e Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), 153, borrowing a phrase from Claude Lévi-Strauss. to the representations, but in the way in which the figure of Joseph is characterized in ancient texts and in the rhetorical and ideological purposes which his characterizations serve in antiquity14 (and beyond).15 !e perplexing, colorful, and disparate early portraits of Joseph are the impetus behind my project. Why do we have such a variety of Josephs? As I explore in this study, part of the answer to that question entails a critical engagement with and mappings of early Christian dealings with Gender and the Everyday.414 My analysis arises from a conviction that the origins of the Christian tradition as a whole are diverse rather than singular and are characterized by competition among numerous rivals, each of which strove against the others for dominance. As such, I approach early Christian culture as a ‘discourse of heterodoxy’: no single deposit of orthodoxy existed in ancient Christianity. Although many of the opinions that would subsequently comprise later Christian orthodoxy admittedly existed from these earliest times, they often stood initially as merely one conviction among many. Only after their victorious emergence from the ideological conflicts of late antiquity did the later tradition invest them with the rarefied authority of ‘orthodoxy’.15 Rosemary Drage Hale, for example, has explored Joseph’s portrayals in late medieval and early modern Europe, especially the literary, dramatic, and visual expressions of Joseph as father/mother (his role as nutritor), which were were especially important as regards the medieval construction of Joseph to mirror and act as paradigmatic for lay male virtue, a reflection of and a model for non-clerical/non-monastic masculinity; see “Joseph as Mother: Adaptation and Appropriation in the Construction of Male Virtue,” in John Carmi Parsons and Bonnie Wheeler, eds., Medieval Mothering (New York and London: Garland, 1996), 101-16. See also David Herlihy, Medieval Households (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985), 127. Cf. other, more recent, Josephs: Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation, entitled Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer), which positions Joseph as “breaking the old vice of paternal familial domination,” and asserts that Joseph is the model of a loving father; !eologian Leonard Boff’s presentation of Joseph as “the personification of the figure of God the Father” (Saint Joseph: !e Father of Jesus in a Fatherless Society, [Eugene: Cascade Books, 2009], 12); Dave DiNuzzo’s (who blogs TrueManhood.com) contention that, aside from Jesus, Joseph is the “best model of authentic masculinity for a man to emulate”: “Wanna be a TrueMan?... be like St. Joseph; “St. Joseph: !e Days After Christmas,” December 28, 2010 blog post on TrueManhood.com (available at: http://www.truemanhood.com/st-joseph-the-days-after-christmas); John Eldredge’s (a huge name associated with what has been called ‘muscular’ or ‘Fight-Club’ Christianity) comparison of Joseph to William Wallace (from the movie Braveheart) and Maximus (from the movie Gladiator): “What makes [them] so heroic is this: !ey are willing to die to set others free. !is sort of heroism is what we see in the life of Joseph” (Wild At Heart: Discovering the Passionate Soul of a Man [Nashville: Nelson, 2001], 184); Mark Driscoll’s (of the (in)famous Mars Hill Church) use of Joseph as an exemplary model for “the best men” who care for, marry, and, ‘redeem the lives of single mothers (and their bastard children)’; “Jesus’ Birth Prophesied,” sermon given at Mars Hill Church October 04, 2009 (transcript available here: http://download.marshill.com/files/2009/10/04/20091004_jesus-birth-prophesied_en_transcript.pdf ). Joseph has also been approached recently in social-scientific biblical interpretation by Matthew Marohl (see Joseph’s Dilemma: “Honor Killing” in the Birth Narrative of Matthew [Eugene: Cascade Books, 2008]), and also in historical Jesus studies, where a spate of scholarship has discussed the possibility that Jesus was labeled by his contemporaries as a mamzer (a person born of illicit union), a label which would have ‘mattered’ as much to Jesus as to Joseph; see Bruce Chilton, “Jesus, le mamzer (Mt 1.18),” ATS 46 (2000): 222-27; idem, Rabbi Jesus (New York: Doubleday, 2000): 5-22; Andries van Aarde, “Jesus as Fatherless Child,” in Wolfgang Stegemann, Bruce J. Malina and Gerd !eissen, eds., !e Social Setting of Jesus and the Gospels (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002), 65-84; idem, Fatherless in Galilee: Jesus as Child of God (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2001); Scot