The Robert Penn Warren Center’s seminar on Late Antiquity announces a lecture by Kate Cooper, professor of ancient history at the University of Manchester (UK), on Friday, March 27, at 4:00 pm in room 122 of the Divinity School. Cooper’s lecture is entitled “Virgins, Mothers, and Martyrs: Women in Early Christian Africa.”
Cooper will discuss her recent book, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women, in which she brings together the fruits of many years of academic research on women’s “hidden” contribution to the growth of Christianity in its early centuries.
“More than anything,” she suggests, “the vitality of early Christianity was built on the power of stories: stories told around the table at mealtimes, in prayer meetings, to children at bedtime. It was by handing down stories that the earliest Christians remembered the life and death of Jesus, and captured its meaning for their own communities and for the future. Naturally, women played an important part in this. Wonderfully, we are closer to understanding women’s contribution to the early Church than we have been at any time in history.”
This event is sponsored by the Department of Classical Studies, the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender and Sexuality at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and the Late Antiquity seminar at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities.