Women's Voices in Early Christianity - A Day of Talks

Talk Christianity
  • Venue


  • Time

    10:00 AM

  • Price

    £15.00 plus booking fee

  • Book Tickets

Uncover untold stories of women in early Christianity at our in-person event on 2 March, 2024 - a day filled with enlightening talks!

For Women's History Month, Southwark Cathedral invite you to join us for a captivating day of talks exploring the often overlooked role of women in early Christianity. Discover their significant contributions and the impact they had on shaping the faith.

Renowned scholars and experts will shed light on the lives of remarkable women who played crucial roles in the development of Christianity. Through engaging presentations and thought-provoking discussions, we aim to challenge traditional narratives and unveil the hidden stories of these remarkable individuals.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to delve into the rich and complex history of women in early Christianity. Expand your knowledge, gain new insights, and engage in lively conversations with fellow attendees. Together, let's give these extraordinary women the recognition they deserve.



10.00am - Registration and tea/coffee

10.15am - Welcome and introduction from Professor Kate Cooper and Reverend Canon Kathryn Fleming, Precentor Southwark Cathedral

10.30am - Were women written out of the New Testament? Women’s voices in the Gospel of Luke and Book of Acts (Helen Bond, University of Edinburgh)

11.30am - What role did women play in the second-century conflicts of canon formation (Sara Parvis, University of Edinburgh)

12.30pm - Lunch (Not included) please do use the Cathedral cafe, Borough Market or bring your own to eat in the Cathedral library.

1.45pm - How did women’s voices shape the Gnostic traditions? (Kimberley Fowler, University of Groningen)

2.45pm - Martyrdom and spiritual power in early Christian Africa: The Prison Diary of Perpetua, Martyr of Carthage (Kate Cooper, Royal Holloway, University of London)

3.45pm - End

All are welcome to then join us for Choral Evensong at 4.00pm in the Cathedral.

This event will take place in the Cathedral library and is in-person only and won't be streamed or recorded.


Our Speakers

Professor Helen Bond is an academic specialising in the social, political and religious history of Roman Judaea and the characters associated with earliest Christianity. She’s the author of five books and numerous shorter studies. She holds the Chair of Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh, and is the first female Head of the School of Divinity. She’s a frequent speaker at Universities, schools and societies, and is passionately committed to public engagement and outreach – mostly through TV and radio broadcasts. She co-presented Channel 4’s highly acclaimed Jesus’ Female Disciples (2018) and has contributed to over 50 further documentaries.

Dr Sara Parvis research interests within the Patristic period include the development of orthodoxy and the construction of heresy, sources of authority in the Church, the place of scriptural exegesis in Patristic thought, and the search for some of the hidden voices of early Christianity, both doctrinal and sociological.

Sara studied twice at undergraduate level at the University of Oxford (first in English and French at St Hilda's, later in Theology at Blackfriars), and then took a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. She held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship from October 2002 until September 2005. Sara is the author of Marcellus of Ancyra and the Lost Years of the Arian Controversy 325-345, a study of the often neglected period between Nicaea and the emergence of the theological stars of the later half of the Controversy.

Dr Kimberley A. Fowler is Assistant Professor of New Testament at the University of Groningen. She has also held teaching and research positions in New Testament and early Christianity more broadly at Durham University (2018 - 2021) and the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (2015 - 2018). She is the author of various articles and studies on topics in the broad area of early Christianity, especially the texts from the Coptic Nag Hammadi Codices, with a focus on the production and reception context of the manuscripts and what this reveals about diverse early Christian reading practices. Her research at present continues to focus particularly on both canonical and non-canonical Christian literature, especially the paratextual features across Coptic and Greek manuscripts on both sides of the canonical boundary.

Kate Cooper is Professor of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. Born in Washington, DC, she was educated at Wesleyan University, with post-graduate studies at Harvard Divinity School and the PhD at Princeton. Kate's work explores the world of the Mediterranean in the Roman period, with a special interest in daily life and the family, religion, gender, and social identity, along with martyrdom, resistance movements, and religious violence. Her books include Queens of a Fallen World: The Lost Women of Augustine's Confessions, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women (Atlantic Books), The Virgin and the Bride (Harvard), and The Fall of the Roman Household (Cambridge).