Date of Award

Fall 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Religious Studies

First Advisor

Golitzin, Alexander G.

Second Advisor

Barnes, Michel R.

Third Advisor

Dempsey, Deirdre A.


This dissertation shows that in the second and third century Christian stories containing transformational imagery of being made male, the vision of the eschaton motivates individuals to lives of enkrateia and martyrdom. Individuals who choose encratic lives or the life of martyrdom become holy and are described in imagery reflective of the eschaton. The eschatological vision in these texts is the product of Biblical tradition and Second Temple Judaism; visions of the eschaton explain the future state as a return to prelapsarian Eden, as participation in the heavenly temple, and as victory in the eschatological battle. This vision is the context in which transformational imagery should be read. Its content gives meaning to the transformational imagery of being made male.