Thursday, February 7, 2013

Karen King on "Was Jesus Married?"

The Religious Studies Dept. at Occidental College is pleased to announce a talk by Dr. Karen L. King entitled "Was Jesus Married? Early Christian Controversies of Marriage, Celibacy, and Salvation."


The most reliable sources for reconstructing the life of the historical Jesus are entirely silent on the question of whether he was married. The earliest literature, however, shows that from the beginning his followers were vociferously debating whether life in Christ meant it was better—or even required—to give up marriage and sexual relations altogether, or whether marriage was ordained by God—and even necessary for salvation. The lecture will bring into the discussion recently discovered ancient Christian writings from Egypt, and consider what was at stake in these debates for Christian teaching about sexuality and desire.

Karen King is the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. She is well-known for her contribution to the scholarship of early Christian history and literature. Her books include The Secret Revelation of John, The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle, What Is Gnosticism?, Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity with Elaine Pagels); and Revelation of the Unknowable God. Other publications include Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism (ed.) and Women and Goddess Traditions in Antiquity and Today (ed.).