GREENSBORO, N.C. – A Greensboro College alumna and her book will be the subject of a major panel in November at the world’s largest annual convention for religion scholars.
Kathleen Gallagher Elkins ’04 and her book “Mary, Mother of Martyrs: How Motherhood Became Self-Sacrifice in Early Christianity” will be featured at the concurrent meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature in San Diego.
According to its publisher, Feminist Studies in Religion, the book “examines several ancient representations of mothers and children in contexts of socio-political violence (including Mary in the canonical gospels, the female figures in the Revelation to John, the Maccabean mother with seven sons, and the co-martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas) in order to demonstrate the ways that notions of early Christian motherhood, as today, are contextual and are produced for various political, social, and ethical reasons.”
A reviewer for the National Catholic Reporter, Mary Hunt, wrote that the book “demonstrates how the tired tropes of women’s self-sacrifice that reinforce oppression and expectations of martyrdom can be expanded and refreshed realistically in light of contemporary women’s lives.”
Hunt added, “Scholars are in Elkins’s debt for a dense, complicated and multilayered critical analysis, while more casual readers will be amply rewarded, too.”
Gallagher Elkins’s acknowledgments in the book include the late W. Barnes Tatum, a longtime professor of religion at Greensboro College who also specialized in the New Testament.
Gallagher Elkins is a member of the Theology and Religious Studies faculty at St. Norbert College, where she recently was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor, effective in August.
She holds a B.A. in religion from Greensboro College, an M.A. in Christian Education from Union Presbyterian Seminary, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Biblical Studies and Early Christianity, with a certificate in Women’s Studies, from Drew University Theological School.
Greensboro College provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.
Founded in 1838 and located in downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,000 students from 29 states and territories, the District of Columbia, and seven foreign countries in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and six master’s degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features a 17-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities. Learn more at greensboro.edu.
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