This component of the course is intended to encourage students to engage in analysis of a historical document
within the Early Christian tradition by integrating one or more scholarly articles/books/book chapters within
their reading of The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity. By engaging in a careful reading of excerpts from The
Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity, students will – to one extent or another – explore and interrogate the role
of gender within this well-known historical document. The question of gender with all of its contestations and
possibilities is a perennial one throughout the religious traditions we discuss within this course. Indeed, if time
permitted, we could have entire sections devoted to gender in all its diversity and complexity across these five
world religions. This assignment, in part, is intended to create space for students to reflect upon how gender is
written into, negotiated, problematized and transcended within a classic text from the Early Christian tradition.
Primary Source Document
The Primary Source Document, which includes an introduction, guided reading questions (which may be used
or not to guide the essay), and excerpts from The Martyrdom of Perpetua with explanatory footnotes, will be
provided as a separate document on Canvas.
Basic Guidelines
1. Value: 200 points (20% of the overall grade)
2. Due Date (April 22nd; need all work turned in by May 1, 2022, at the very latest)
3. How to Submit: On Canvas as a Word Document in the Assignments Portal in Perpetua Folder.
4. Format of the Paper: 12-point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, name on top of the first page.
5. Length: 5–7 pages.
Expectations for the Writing of the Essay: Essays will be evaluated with these expectations in mind:
1. Focus of the Essay: Essay should have a focal point that is clearly defined in the opening paragraph
and then elaborated upon and analyzed throughout the essay. So, first thing you need, is a topic,
theme, issue, particular biblical passage which you would like to focus on for 5–7 pages. Several
themes, topics, issues and biblical passages will be provided at the end of this document. At the
same time, you may send me an email or text proposing another theme/issue to focus on. I am going
to provide several possible subjects just in case it is of use for you.
2. Synthesize 1–2 Scholarly Secondary Sources: Essay should be enriched and deepened by including
1–2 secondary sources on The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity. I have provided 23 scholarly
articles in a folder titled “PerpetuaArticles” in the Files Portal on Canvas. You should integrate and
synthesize scholarship throughout the essay in a constructive manner (= build upon what scholars
assert), cogent (demonstrate a clear understanding of the scholars and use of them) and cohesive
(use sources in a seamless, rather than, in a disjointed and piecemeal manner). If you wish to use secondary sources outside of those provided, please feel free to do so, however, please note that
secondary sources need to be of academic caliber. If you have any questions regarding the merits
of a particular writing, please send it my way and will provide feedback.
3. Analysis with Description/Summary: Part of the essay will be descriptive meaning the essay will
recount parts of The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity. In addition to describing and summarizing
key moments, the essay needs to include analysis of the primary source document (= The Martyrdom
of Perpetua and Felicity), which means, you should strive to bring your interpretive voice, reflections,
questions and arguments alongside the descriptions and summary portions of the essay.
5. Citation of Sources: When citing a source, include the last name of the author and page number in
parenthesis after the sentence(s) that warrant citation. Her is an example of how to cite sources
within the essay:
In her reassessment, Dunn argues that Perpetua affirms and transcends gendered expectations
in her martyrdom by identifying with the suffering of Jesus Christ. (Dunn, p. 202).
6. Bibliography: Provide the full bibliographic details for the secondary sources cited at the end of your
essay. See examples below for the proper way to cite secondary sources at the end of your essay.
Also, take a look at the pattern followed in the citation of the journal articles in the last section of
this document titled “Themes and Secondary Sources.” I have highlighted/coded each part that
belongs in the three types of sources usually cited: books, journal articles and book chapters.
For books, full bibliographic information means: Full Name of Author, Title of Book (Place of
Publication: Publishers Name, Year of Publication).
Example: Jane Smith, The Legacy of Perpetua and Felicity (New York: Oxford University Press,

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