Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Midday Edition

San Diego State Professor Authors Book On Women And Christianity

San Diego State Professor Authors Book On Women And Christianity
SDSU Professor's Book Examines The Role Of 'Women In Christian Traditions' GUEST:Rebecca Moore, author, "Women in Christian Traditions"

A new book by Rebecca Moore, a professor of religious studies at San Diego State University, examines the role women have played in the way Christianity has been practiced for centuries.

"​There are many stories of women who influenced Christianity," Moore said. "First, of course, would be the unnamed women disciples who accompanied Jesus on his travels. They witnessed his death, and they were the first to announce his resurrection."

Her book is timely, with Easter being celebrated this Sunday. Although the Easter holiday is enjoyed by some as a secular spring festival with chocolate bunnies and colored eggs, to Christians it's the most sacred holiday on the calendar.


Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the promise to believers that their souls can survive physical death.

As Christians observe Holy Week, centuries-old traditions will be re-enacted. Included in many of those traditions are ancient attitudes about gender, Moore said.

She said the feminist movement of the 1960s and '70s helped shape the understanding of women's role in Christianity.

"Little has been written about powerful Christian women except for the lives of the saints, which tend to glorify women who fit the patriarchal mold," Moore said. "Part of this stems from the valorization of virginity and the Virgin Mary, which emphasized either motherhood or virginity."

But Moore said the rise of women leaders in some denominations has shaped religion and society.


“It’s dramatically shaped people’s understanding of what women can do and what it means to have women leaders,” she said on KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday.

Moore will participate on May 7 in a discussion at SDSU about women leaders in Christian history. The event starts at 2 p.m. at the College of Arts and Letters, Room 101. The event also will mark her retirement from SDSU.