Join us at 7 pm on Monday, November 12 for a lecture with Alicia D. Myers, PhD.
Pregnant Prophecies and Soul-Food: Motherhood and Theology in the New Testament
It is perhaps an obvious statement than people in the ancient Mediterranean world understood life much differently than we do. Nevertheless, when reading our Bibles, we can often forget this fact—and overlook the importance it has to our interpretation of what we read. Taking this observation to the presentations of mothers and motherhood in the New Testament, in particular, this talk will explore how ancients understood conception, pregnancy, childbirth, breast-feeding, and child-rearing to shed light on both maternal characters in the New Testament, and maternal metaphors. We will explore Luke’s presentation of Elizabeth and Mary as prophets while pregnant with John and Jesus, a logical outworking of ancient theories of conception and generation, as well as the belief that a father and mother’s very souls were infused in the breastmilk provided to newborns, adding depth to Paul’s description of himself as a nurse in 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians. Yet, rather than simply repeating ancient assumptions about mothers and motherhood, early Christians also debated these categories due to the creation of a new household of God by means of Christ. Now members of God’s household, ancient Christians used motherhood as a theological category and a contested ideal for women disciples.
All are welcome to attend the lecture at 7 pm. Faculty are also invited to a special luncheon at noon with Alicia Myers. Her afternoon talk is titled "Blessed Among Women? Motherhood and Salvation in the New Testament." Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Alicia D. Myers
Alicia D. Myers is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Greek at Campbell University Divinity School. She earned her PhD from Baylor University in 2010. Prior to joining the faculty at Campbell, she taught at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. A constant feature of her research is an interest in how Greco-Roman rhetoric and literatures can aid our understanding of the New Testament, especially the Gospel of John. Her most recent book explores presentations of mothers and maternal metaphors in the New Testament and is published with Oxford University Press, Blessed Among Women? Mothers and Motherhood in the New Testament (2017). Her current book project is a commentary on the Gospel and Letters of John for the Reading the New Testament Series (Smyth & Helwys).
Her dissertation focused on the role of the Old Testament in presenting the character of Jesus in the Gospel of John; it is published in the Library of New Testament Studies series as Characterizing Jesus (2012). She continued her work on the Old Testament in the Gospel of John by co-editing, with Bruce G. Schuchard, a volume highlighting various perspectives on John’s use of Scripture titled Abiding Words (SBL Press, 2015). She has published articles in a variety of scholarly journals and essay collections, as well as in works focused more on the needs of pastors in Lectionary Homiletics, Christian Reflection, Feasting on the Gospels, and WorkingPreacher.org. She is co-chair of the Johannine Literature Unit of the Society of Biblical Literature and a member of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion.