Author Event: Susan M. "Elli" Elliott
Meet member-owner Elli Elliott as she leads a presentation and discussion centering on her recent book, Family Empires, Roman and Christian, on Monday evening, May 14, 2018, starting at 5:30. Following the discussion, Elliott will be on hand to sign copies of her book.
In the Roman empire family values centered on an all-powerful father-owner-master of each household and of the empire itself. Many imperial subjects, including early Christians, resisted this form of family. Elliott's review of first-century struggles over family values offers insights for understanding similar conflicts today.
In this book, the first of a two-volume series, Dr. Elliott examines the Roman household form as it was changing during the Augustan era. Augustus relied on his version of that family form to establish his one-man rule of the empire. Dr. Elliott lays out several forms of resistance to the Roman empire and the family model on which it was built. She closes with a reading of Paul’s letter to Philemon considering the many viewpoints in the room as the letter was read. Her reading reveals a complex negotiation of accommodation and resistance to the Roman family empire and its slave-owning households.
“Compelling and persuasive … Elliott refocuses our understanding of the Roman Empire and moves us beyond imaginings of jackbooted imperial storm troopers to a deeper awareness of the Romans.
—Christine Shea, Ball State University
About the author
Susan M. (Elli) Elliott, Ph.D. is a writer, lecturer, workshop leader, and environmental activist based in Red Lodge, Montana. She began her doctoral work after years in urban ministry in Chicago where she served a local church, directed human rights organizations, worked in grassroots economic development, and organized direct actions on local and international justice issues. Her scholarly work focuses on the pagan and Roman Imperial backgrounds of early Christianity, including Greco-Roman mystery cults-particularly the cult of Cybele-and central Anatolian popular religiosity. She is the author of scholarly articles and reviews that have appeared in the Journal of Biblical Literature, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Biblical Research, Semeia, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, and Listening.