The Women Who Led and Ministered in Acts

Professor Teresa Calpino of Loyolo University offers a fascinating look at The Acts of the Aspostles as she searches for the stories of the women who are named.  Luke names a number of women in Acts who have been ignored too often in our faith history.

For instance, Tabitha (Acts 9:36–42) and Lydia (Acts 16:11–15) are mentioned only in praising the apostle associated with their story. As a result, stereotypical categorization has swept these important characters from their rightful place into relative obscurity. In fact, an examination of their stories set against the expectations of women in Greco-Roman antiquity reveals their unconventional situations. In particular, the representations of the “ideal woman” in the Greco-Roman world are at variance with the portraits of Tabitha and Lydia. Both women are portrayed as independent, support themselves financially, and are regarded as benefactresses in their own right. Of course, benefactions from women were commonplace among elite women of the dominant class, but neither Tabitha nor Lydia belong to such select families. 



Dr. Calpino received her BS from Northwestern University in Communications. She received an MA in Biblical Languages and Literature in 2005 and her PhD in New Testament and Early Christianity in 2012 both from Loyola University Chicago. Her interests include Acts of the Apostles, Women and Gender, The Greco-Roman Social Context of early Christian literature, The Church Fathers, and Letter, Inscriptions and Artifacts of the early Christian world.

Dr. Calpino’s book Women, Work and Leadership in Acts was published in 2014 by Mohr-Siebeck. (WUNT II, 361; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014) She has also published articles in Biblical Review and Annali di Storia dell’Esegesi. Her book chapter, “Mary Magdalene in Modern Scholarship,” will be published in late 2014 in the scholarly anthology Maria Magdalena. She has also presented numerous papers at conferences on both the local and national level. She is a member of The Society of Biblical Literature, The Chicago Society of Biblical Research and The Catholic Biblical Association. She is currently the chair of the “Teaching the Bible” section for the Midwest Society of Biblical Literature.



Jun 13 2023


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