"Hell Hath No Fury" by Meghan R. Henning

Hell Hath No Fury Gender, Disability, and the Invention of Damned Bodies in Early Christian Literature Meghan R. Henning

The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library
Publication date:
21 Sep 2021
Yale University Press
288 pages: 235 x 156mm
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The first major book to examine ancient Christian literature on hell through the lenses of gender and disability studies

In this pioneering study, Meghan Henning illuminates how the resurrected bodies that populate hell in early Christian literature—largely those of women, enslaved persons, and individuals with disabilities—are punished after death in spaces that mirror real carceral spaces, effectually criminalizing those bodies on earth. Contextualizing the apocalypses alongside ancient medical texts, inscriptions, philosophy, and patristic writings, this book demonstrates the ways that Christian depictions of hell intensified and preserved ancient notions of gender and bodily normativity that continue to inform Christian identity.

Meghan R. Henning is associate professor of Christian origins at the University of Dayton. The author of Educating Early Christians through the Rhetoric of Hell, she lives in Dayton, OH.

“Henning’s provocative and engrossing study challenges readers to reflect on contemporary carceral spaces and our attitudes to the bodies in them.”—Harold Attridge