This session will explore several of the remarkable women whose lives have shaped the nature of the church, as well as how the church has responded to the lives and vocations of women. We will look at the remarkable number of women named in Romans 16, and at Paul’s complex rhetoric concerning women in church. We will look at the North African prophet and martyrs Perpetua and the pregnant slave Felicity, who died in Carthage at the beginning of the third century. Next, we will explore the remarkable life and career of the Empress Pulcheria, who presided over the Council of Chalcedon. In the western church, we will examine the remarkable English abbess Hild of Whitby, instrumental in the conversion of Northumbria, and the twelfth-century religious woman Christina of Markyate. Finally, we will conclude with that most underestimated of Henry VIII’s wives, Catherine Parr, who against all odds, “survived” to shape the church in the English Reformation.
Hannah Matis, The School of Theology - Sewanee