Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion to Host "Women in the Bible" Symposium

Sept. 11, 2013
Beth BarrBeth Allison Barr, Ph.D.

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Sept. 11, 2013) - From Eve to Mary and all the ladies in between, the women of the Bible hold much importance in Christian history, most Baylor students would agree.

Beyond that, there are a lot of questions, opinions and unknowns about these women.

To better educate people on this subject, the Institute for Studies of Religion will host a symposium called "Women and the Bible: A Historical Perspective" on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.

The seminar will consist of a panel at 10:30 a.m. in the Armstrong Browning Library Cox Lecture Hall and two afternoon lectures, one at 2 p.m. in Armstrong Browning Library and the other at 3:30 p.m. in Kayser Auditorium.

The morning panel will include a reflection on the timeline of Christian history relative to women and the way they are perceived. The speakers on this subject will be:

� Bruce Longenecker, Ph.D., professor of biblical studies and Melton Chair of Religion, Baylor University

� Lindsey Trozzo, Ph.D. candidate, Baylor University

� Melissa Franklin-Harkrider, Ph.D., associate professor of history, Wheaton College

� Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Ph.D., associate professor of history, Calvin College

Trozzo will present a reevaluation of 1st Thessalonians in the context of its female audience.

"I hope that by considering the images employed in the letter, we might better see how Paul's message is made accessible to a diverse audience," she said.

Additionally, she hopes not only to answer questions, but also to reflect on them.

"I hope that my opening presentation creates space for reflection on important questions that we can carry with us throughout the symposium," she said.

The first afternoon lecture will be presented by Beth Allison Barr, Ph.D., an assistant professor of history at Baylor. She will share "Weak and Silent Vessels: The Impact of the English Bible on Christian Women."

"The symposium will help prompt discussion about how external historical factors have shaped perceptions of women in the Bible," said Barr.

Barr will speak particularly about how sermons affected Christian women.

"My paper specifically draws from a striking comparison of late medieval and early modern texts to show how the English Bible helped refashion notions of Christian womanhood through the powerful medium of sermons," she said.

The second afternoon lecture will be presented by Ben Witherington III, Ph.D., Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary. He will lecture on "Joanna - The Untold Story."

Cox Lecture Hall is located at 710 Speight Avenue. Kayser Auditorium is located in the Hankamer School of Business on the Baylor campus.

The event is free upon registration and open to the public. For more information, call 254-710-7555.

by Kristen Bennett, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute's mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While always striving for appropriate scientific objectivity, ISR scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve. For more information, visit

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